OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the frequency and factors associated with smoking among female university students in Pakistan.
METHODS: This cross-sectional survey was conducted in 4 cities (Karachi, Hyderabad, Multan and Lahore) of Pakistan. A total of 689 female students from 18 universities (including medical, engineering & social sciences universities) filled the questionnaire through convenient sampling method. Data analysis was done on SPSS 22. Binary logistic regression, with 95% confidence interval (CI) was used to determine the factors associated with smoking.
RESULTS: Mean age at initiation of smoking was 16.65±2.46 years. Total frequency of smoking was 7.4% (n=51/689). Out of 51 students involved in smoking, 25 (49%) used shisha, 7 (13.7%) used Cigarette and 19 (37%) used both modes of smoking. Students who consider smoking necessary for Social gathering are 5 times more prone to smoke. Strong relationship between advertisement on Social media and smoking was found (p<0.05). Female students from fashion, business administration, media Sciences and engineering were more frequently indulge in smoking when compared to medical sciences (p<0.05). Less than 1% of cigarette smokers and 29.6% shisha smokers respectively were comfortable doing smoking in front of their parents. In females who were engaged in both kinds of smoking, 52.3% reported use of shisha before cigarette. Among non-smoker females 19%frequently visit shisha bar with family and friends.
CONCLUSION: Although overall frequency of smoking was noted to be low among female students but parental approval of shisha, indulgence of shisha smokers in cigarette is alarming and cannot be ignored.
KEY WORDS: Tobacco Smoking (MeSH), Shisha (MesH); Females (MeSH); Universities (MeSH); Students (MeSH); Social Media (MeSH); Frequency (MeSH)
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