Misrat Masuma Parvez a, Yaseen Abdullah b
|a||Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Faculty of Veterinary and Animal Science, Hajee Mohammad Danesh Science and Technology University, Dinajpur, Bangladesh|
|b||Department of Public Health, University of Health Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan|
Published: 31 December 2022
Tobacco use and related exposure in Pakistan are responsible for approximately 110,000 deaths. While previous studies have reported improved knowledge about the health risks of cigarette smoking among the general population due to ongoing tobacco control programs, fewer studies have investigated such knowledge in young adults. Thus, we conducted a comparative cross-sectional study of 220 young adult students aged 22 years (interquartile range (IQR) = 2) enrolled at a public university to assess their knowledge of the health risks of cigarette smoking and to compare this knowledge between smokers and nonsmokers. The self-administered semistructured questionnaire collected sociodemographic data, cigarette smoking status, and knowledge about the health risks of cigarette smoking. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, the chi-square test, and the Mann‒Whitney U test. Overall, most young adults were nonsmokers (69.09%), and the remaining 30.91% of smokers smoked an average of 5.31 ± 2.40 cigarettes daily for 3.80 ± 1.33 years, primarily in rural areas (p < 0.05). Nearly half of the young adults showed good knowledge of the health risks of cigarette smoking, irrespective of smoking status (smokers = 54.41%, nonsmokers = 53.29%). Conversely, few young adults demonstrated poor knowledge (smokers = 10.29%, nonsmokers = 6.58%) about the health hazards of cigarette smoking. Our findings showed that smoking rates were higher among young adults in rural settings than in urban areas. In addition, knowledge of gender-specific health risks associated with cigarette smoking, such as pregnancy-related complications in female smokers and male impotence in male smokers, was low. Nonetheless, almost half of the young adults displayed good knowledge of most of the potential health risks of cigarette smoking, regardless of their smoking status.
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