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Background: Tobacco smoking is the leading most common cause of preventable death and disease. The medical students should be equipped with the knowledge and skills to promote smoking cessation skills among their future patients.
Aim: To study the factors responsible for smoking behaviour among medical students of a government medical college in Srinagar, Garhwal uttarakhand and to assess the impact of an educational intervention on smoking cessation.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study followed by an educational intervention was conducted from June 2014 to may 2015. Out of 491 medical students in the college, 89 students, who were found to be current smokers on the basis of history, were included in the study. The criteria for current smoker were the student who has smoked at least once in past one year. Data was analysed using Pearson’s chi-square test and p-value <0.05 was considered significant.
Results: Of all the 89 smokers, 91% were hostellers, 74.1% started smoking themselves after joining college and 58.4% had been stimulated by the peer group. Before intervention, 89.8% students believed that smoking helps to relieve stress which significantly decreased to 57.3% after intervention. As a result of the intervention, 65.1% started nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) to quit smoking and 47.2% showed a significant reduction in the number of cigarettes smoked per week. Two students (2.2%) quit smoking altogether.
Conclusion: Simple educational intervention through a power point presentation is effective in motivating students to attempt quitting cigarettes and can be replicated at larger scale.