An evaluation of knowledge, attitude and behavior regarding smoking and smokeless tobacco (Maras powder) use among high school children
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Keywords:Smoking, smokeless tobacco, high school
The aim of this study was to reveal knowledge, attitude, and behavior regarding smoking and using Maras powder, a kind of smokeless tobacco, among high school children and to provide guidance for preventive medicine professionals. The study was conducted on 2200 high school students (the response rate was 88%) in a state high school with 2500 students in Kahramanmaraş, a city located in the east part of Mediterranean Region in Turkey, in June 2012. Data were collected with a questionnaire consisting of questions about knowledge, attitude, and behavior related to smoking and Maras powder use, and volunteer students participated in the study and informed consent was obtained from all participants. Three hundred and twenty-one students (14.6%) were smoking. There was a signifi cant relation between smoking and having a smoking family member, having a high income and having family members with a higher level of education. In addition, having a good relationship with parents was found to decrease smoking and Maras powder use signifi cantly (p< 0.001). Out of the 210 students who answered the question whether they tried giving up smoking, 91 of them (43.3%) revealed that they tried to stop. Of the 215 students responding to the question whether they wanted to quit smoking, 100 (46.5%) noted that they would like to give up the habit. It is of great importance to increase public awareness of health risks of smoking and using Maras powder through the media, courses and conferences.
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