Healthcare professionals are in an ideal position to educate patients about the dangers of smoking and smoking cessation. Since the ability to do this effectively depends upon their own smoking habits and attitude toward smoking, the aim of this study was to determine the smoking prevalence and smoking attitudes in the future health professionals in dentistry, nursing and pharmacy using a 7-question survey. Eighty-one of the 256 respondents (31.7%) indicated that they had smoked in the past, but only 19 were still smoking. Among these, nursing students were the largest number (10/30) (33%). This appeared to be influenced by the lack of smoking-related education in their curriculum. All smokers believed that it was a danger to their health, but not all wanted to quit. The relatively small number of smokers in the three groups indicates that they will be good anti-smoking advocates in the future. However, it also indicates the need to assure that the various curricula provide an adequate education in smoking dangers and cessation programs.
Daniel M Laskin*, Caroline K Carrico and Spiro C Stilianoudakis