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Promoting cessation and a tobacco free future: willingness of pharmacy students at the University of Lagos, Nigeria

Author(s): Aina Bolajoko | Onajole Adebayo | Lawal Babatunde | Oyerinde Opeoluwa

Journal: Tobacco Induced Diseases
ISSN 1617-9625

Volume: 5;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 13;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Abstract Background Tobacco use is projected to cause nearly 450 million deaths worldwide during the next 50 years. Health professionals can have a critical role in reducing tobacco use. Therefore, one of the strategies to reduce the number of smoking-related deaths is to encourage the involvement of health professionals in tobacco-use prevention and cessation counseling. As future health care providers, pharmacy students should consider providing assistance to others to overcome tobacco use and be involved in promoting a tobacco free future as part of their professional responsibility. This research was to determine the knowledge of tobacco/smoking policy, willingness to be involved in tobacco cessation, attitude to keeping a tobacco free environment and the smoking habit among pharmacy students at the University of Lagos. Methods Data was collected by the use of self administered questionnaire which was aimed at assessing their smoking habit, determining their knowledge and attitude to smoking policy and willingness to be involved in smoking cessation. The population sample was all the pharmacy students in their professional years (200 to 500 Levels) at Idi-Araba Campus of the University of Lagos. Results Out of 327 qualified participants, 297 responded to the questionnaire which was about 91% participation rate but out of these only 291 questionnaires were useful which came to 89%. There seemed to be no statistically significant difference between the smoking habits among the different levels (p > 0.05). Overall, the current smoking prevalence was 5.5% which is lower than the national prevalence rate of 8.9%. Awareness of WHO FCTC global tobacco treaty was low (9.3%) among pharmacy students but they agreed that pharmacists and pharmacy students should be involved in quit smoking program (93.1%) and they were willing to be involved in helping smokers to quit (85.9%). Majority agreed that smoking should not be permitted in pharmacies (87.9%) and at pharmacy students' events (86.9%). Conclusion From this study it can be concluded that smoking prevalence is low among pharmacy students at the University of Lagos. Awareness of global policy is low but they are willing to be involved in smoking cessation and promoting a tobacco free future.
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