METHODOLOGY: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 199 students in the period from December of academic year 2009 until April of academic year 2010 in Management and Science University (MSU), Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia. The questionnaire was distributed randomly to all faculties of MSU by choosing one of every 3 lecture rooms, as well as the library and cafeterias of the campus randomly by choosing one from every 3 tables. Questions concerned socio-demographic variables, knowledge, attitudes and practice toward smoking. Participant's consent was obtained and ethical approval was provided by the ethics committee of the University. Data entry and analysis were performed using descriptive statistics, chi square test, Student t- test and logistic multiple regression with the SPSS version 13.0, statistical significance being concluded at p < 0.05.
RESULTS: About one third of students were smokers (29%). The most important reason of smoking was stress (20%) followed by 'influenced by friends' (16 %). Prevalence of smoking was significantly higher among male and those in advanced semesters (p = >0.001, p = 0.047). Smokers had low level of knowledge (p < 0.05), had wrong beliefs on smoking (p < 0.05), and negative attitude toward tobacco control policies compared to non smokers (p < 0.05). On multiple logistic regression, significant predictors of smoking in the model were gender (p = 0.025), age (p = 0.037), semester of study (p = 0.025) and attitude toward smoking (p < 0.001).
CONCLUSION: This study found that 29% of university students were smokers. Males and students in advanced semesters were more likely to smoke. The results provide baseline data to develop an anti-smoking program to limit smoking in the university by implementing policies against smoking.