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

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Sami Al-Dubai *
Kurubaran Ganasegeran
Mustafa Alshagga
Aamenah Hawash
Wahid Wajih
Saba Kassim
(*) Corresponding Author:
Sami Al-Dubai | samidobaie@yahoo.com

Abstract

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.

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