Background: Conclusive evidence exists about associations between several life-threatening diseases andpassive smoking. The objective of our study was to investigate the prevalence of passive smoking among Iraniandental students, to assess their attitudes towards tobacco control programs, and to explore the associationbetween these two and tobacco use.
Methods: In eight randomly selected dental schools, all fourth-year studentswere surveyed by means of a self-administered anonymous questionnaire in December 2010. The Global HealthProfessions Student Survey (GHPSS) questionnaire served as the data collection instrument. Exposure toenvironmental tobacco smoke (ETS) was assessed during the previous week. Chi-square test, logistic regression,and linear regression served for statistical analyses.
Results: The response rate was 84% (325 students, 66%female). Exposure to ETS was reported by 74% of the participants. Men were significantly more exposed to ETSat home, and in other places than were women. Most of the students agreed on queried tobacco control policies.The lowest agreement (72%) was for banning smoking in coffee shops and teahouses. A logistic regression modelshowed that adjusted for gender, passive smoking at home is significantly associated with current tobacco use. Alinear regression model suggested that the total score of attitudes is significantly associated with passive smokingat home, passive smoking in other places, tobacco use experience, and current tobacco use.
Conclusions: Thestudy reports high exposure to ETS among dental students, and its association with current tobacco use andattitudes towards tobacco control.