Gender Differences in Responses towards Anti-Smoking Messages and Policy Implementation among Future Doctors in Malaysia


Background: Medical students’ views may provide some direction for future policy considerations. Aim:The aim of this study was to assess gender differences in future doctors’ receptiveness to currently implementedanti-smoking messages and the effectiveness of those messages. Materials and
Methods: We administereda questionnaire to all students at a medical university in Malaysia, asking how frequently they noted antismokingpolicies, anti-smoking campaigns, and anti-smoking messages in schools. In addition, the questionnaireinvestigated most effective methods to convey these messages.
Results: A total of 522 (59.7%) students responded.Students were least likely to approve of total bans on cigarettes and increasing the price of cigarettes, and mostlikely to approve of bans on use of cigarettes in public places and sales to individuals less than 16 years old.Approval of total bans on cigarettes was more common in female students than in males OR=0.39 (95%CI: 0.18-0.86). Furthermore, compared to the female students, the male students thought that printed media; OR=2.32(95%CI: 1.31-4.10), radio; OR=1.93 (95%CI: 1.15-3.22) and the internet; OR=1.96 (95%CI: 1.15-3.33) werevery effective at delivering anti-smoking messages.
Conclusions: Gender differences existed in the future doctors’perception of the effectiveness of anti-smoking initiatives. Taking this gender difference into account may increasethe receipt of anti-smoking messages in adolescents