Background: The aim of this study was to determine the epidemiology of smoking among physicians and to describe their socio-demographic characteristics.
Subjects and Methods: All professors, associate professors, assistant professors, lecturers and research assistants working for the Faculty of Medicine of Meram, University of Selçuk, were included in the study. Of the 500 subjects, 363 (72.6%) completed the anonymous questionnaire of the survey satisfactorily. The smoking status, age at smoking initiation, daily cigarette consumption and association between current smoking and socio-demographic variables, family characteristics and body mass index were examined. The SPSS software was used to tabulate the data. The chi-square test was used for statistical analysis.
Results: The mean age was 34.2 ± 9.1 years. The rate of ever-smokers was 28.7% (n = 104). The rates of smoking in females and males were 13.4% (n = 15) and 35.6% (n = 89), respectively (p = 0.000). The rate of ex-smokers was 9.9% (n = 36). The rate of never-smokers was 61.4% (n = 223). The mean age at starting smoking was 21.7 ± 4.9 years. The quit ratio was 25.7% (36/140) [23.3% (27/116) for men and 37.5% (9/24) for women]. Fagerstrom score was averaged 2.8 ± 2.7 among all smokers. The rate of smoking in the families (p = 0.003) and among close friends (p = 0.000) of the smoker-group was higher than in non-smokers.
Conclusion: In Turkey, prevalence of tobacco smoking is high among physicians though lower than the general community. This may compromise their role in tobacco control unless they quit smoking.