Impact of Parents and Peers Smoking on Tobacco Consumption Behavior of University Students

Document Type: Research Articles

Author

College Of Medicine, University Of Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arabic Emirates.

Abstract

Introduction: In the United Arab Emirates, smoking prevalence has increased in both sexes, especially among
young adults. Various factors have led to this catastrophe; examples include coverage on TV and social media, as well
as market availability. One major influence is smoking by parents and peers. A lot of students may start smoking because
of the behavior of their family and friends, and therefore it is necessary to quantify adverse contributions. The aim of
this project was to study to what degree parents and peers smoking habits may impact on smoking behavior of students
at the University of Sharjah. Methods: This cross-sectional observational study with a non-probability convenient type
of sampling, was conducted with university students aged 18 to 23. Information was collected using a self-administered
questionnaire, comprising 23 questions, developed by ourselves. Results: A total of 400 University of Sharjah students
(50% males and 50% females) were included.Some 15.8% of the smoking students had smoking parents, and 17.1%
of them had smoking peers. The respective figures were 22.2% and 21.7% for males and 10% and 7.8% for females.
Conclusions: Peers had a stronger impact than parents and both parents and peers had greater influence on males than
on females. Interestingly, almost 80% of the smoking students did not have smoking parents or peers, which leaves
the question unanswered of why they started smoking in the first place. Actions at a societal level should be taken into
consideration to prevent smoking and thus help create a non-smoking generation.

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