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The role of psychosocial and belief factors in self-reported cigarette smoking among university students in Malaysia

Sami Al-Dubai, Kurubaran Ganasegeran, Mustafa Alshagga, Aamenah Hawash, Wahid Wajih, Saba Kassim
  • Kurubaran Ganasegeran
    Management and Science University, Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia
  • Mustafa Alshagga
    Newcastle Unicersity Medicine, Malaysia
  • Aamenah Hawash
    Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary, University of London, United Kingdom
  • Wahid Wajih
    Cyberjaya University College of Medical Sciences, Malaysia
  • Saba Kassim
    Queen Mary University of London, Institute of Dentistry, Department of Dental Public Health Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, United Kingdom


This study aimed to explore factors associated, specifically belief factors, with self-reported tobacco smoking status. A sample of 300 students was recruited from a private university in Malaysia. Data was collected using a pre-tested self-administrated questionnaire that investigated various factors including socio-demographics, socio-economic status, smoking behavior and beliefs on tobacco smoking. The main tobacco use in this study sample was cigarettes and the estimated prevalence of self-reported cigarette smoking was 10.3%. In bivariate analysis, self-reported cigarette smoking was significantly associated with socio-demographic, behavioral factors and faculty of study (P<0.05). In multivariate modeling, being male and a non-medical student, did not exercise, having a smoker father and brother or sister, suffering from financial difficulties and having the belief that smokers had more friends, all had statistically significant associations (P<0.05) with self-reported cigarette smoking. Social and interpersonal factors were associated with self-reported cigarette smoking status. A comprehensive health model focusing on changing the social norms of parent and sibling tobacco smoking and students’ beliefs, alongside nurturing skills of dealing with stressful situations, warrant implementation.


financial difficulties, friendship, physically inactive, social modeling, tobacco

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Submitted: 2013-02-16 14:08:01
Published: 2014-01-13 14:51:46
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Copyright (c) 2014 Sami Al-Dubai, Kurubaran Ganasegeran, Mustafa Alshagga, Aamenah Hawash, Wahid Wajih, Saba Kassim

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