ZITA FAZAKAS, ENIKO NEMES-NAGY, ERZSEBET FOGARASI, ZOLTAN PREG, MIHALY IMRE LASZLO, HAJNAL KELEMEN, MARTA GERMAN-SALLO, PETER BALAZS, MELINDA SZEKELY, VANDA ROXANA NIMIGEAN, KRISTIE FOLEY, ZOLTAN ABRAM, PAL ISTVAN KIKELI THREE-YEAR FOLLOW-UP OF SMOKING PREVALENCE, KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDES AND BELIEFS AMONG PHARMACY STUDENTS AT UMPHST, TARGU MURES Objectives of the study were to investigate the smoking prevalence, knowledge, attitudes and beliefs among Romanian pharmacy students. Surveys were conducted among pharmacy students during 2014–2016. A locally-adapted version of the Global Health Professional Students Survey was used, which is a self-administered questionnaire developed by the World Health Organization to assess smoking behaviors and attitudes among health professional students. The study was conducted at the University of Medicine, Pharmacy, Science and Technology (UMPhST) of Targu Mures, Romania (UMPh of Targu Mures, at that time). All pharmacy students (1st–5th years) were invited to participate in this study. In the first year of the study 414, during the second year 396, and in the third year a number of 449 pharmacy students were enrolled in our survey. There were assessed the prevalence of current cigarette smoking and other tobacco use in pharmacy students, defined as smoking or other tobacco use at least once in the past 30 days, and also the opinion, knowledge and attitude of these students regarding the tobacco-related legislation. 29.5% of the evaluated pharmacy students were current smokers in the first year of the study, 26.1% in the second year and 29.9% in the third year of the study. 45.7% of the enrolled pharmacy students used other tobacco products in the past 30 days in 2014, 41.5% in 2015 and 44.4% in 2016. Among current smokers desire to quit was high, ranging between 93.6–96.4%. Support for tobacco-banning legislation among pharmacy students showed significant increase in the last year of our study. This study contributes to knowledge on tobacco use among pharmacy students at the UMPhST in Targu Mures, Romania. Our results suggest that smoking prevalence in this cohort is low and that these health professional students are supportive of tobacco control policies. At the end of study period the National Clean Air Law nr. 15/2016 was implemented in Romania and our university became the first smoke-free medical university in the country.
Keywords: pharmacy students, University of Medicine, Pharmacy, Science and Technology, smoke-free medical university, prevalence of smoking, quit smoking