Prevalence of Tobacco Smoking and Factors Associated with the Initiation of Smoking among University Students in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Main Article Content

Sahadat Hossain
Shakhaoat Hossain
Fahad Ahmed
Rabiul Islam
Tajuddin Sikder
Abdur Rahman


Introuduction: Tobacco smoking is considered to be the key preventable risk factor for morbidity and mortality at the global level. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of tobacco smoking and factors associated with the initiation of smoking among university students in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey study was conducted with 264 students of Jahangirnagar University, Dhaka, Bangladesh in 2015. A standard, self-administered questionnaire consisting of questions on socio-demographic variables, tobacco smoking status, family and peer tobacco smoking history, attitudes and beliefs about tobacco smoking, as well as knowledge about the negative health consequences of tobacco smoking was administered to participants. Data were analyzed using logistic regression models, chi square, and Fisher exact tests.

Results: The overall prevalence of tobacco smoking was 60.2%, where males smoked at higher rates than females (68.81% and 19.56%, respectively). The influence of friends was the most significant reason for initiating tobacco smoking (OR: 0.862; CI: 0.810-0.917). Perception regarding tobacco smoking was significantly related to continuing tobacco use. Logistic regression models identified that smoking-related attitudes, potential health problems, and family members dying from cardiovascular disease and cancer were significantly associated with tobacco smoking.

Conclusion: The current tobacco smoking prevalence among university students in Bangladesh is over 60%. We suggest adopting WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) policies, especially for university students.

Article Details

How to Cite
Hossain, S., Hossain, S., Ahmed, F., Islam, R., Sikder, T., & Rahman, A. (2017). Prevalence of Tobacco Smoking and Factors Associated with the Initiation of Smoking among University Students in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Central Asian Journal of Global Health, 6(1).


WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic, 2008: the empower package. World Health Organization; 2008. Available at: Access date: December 21, 2016

WHO updated fact sheet on Tobacco. World Health Organization; 2016. Available at: Access date: December 21, 2016

WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic, 2011: warning about the dangers of tobacco. World Health Organization; 2011. Available at: Access date: December 21, 2016

CDC Fact Sheet. Health Effects of Cigarette Smoking; 2016. Available at: Access date: December 21, 2016

Jha P, Ramasundarahettige C, Landsman V, et al. 21st-Century Hazards of Smoking and Benefits of Cessation in the United States. New England Journal of Medicine. 2013; 368(4):341-50. doi:10.1056/NEJMsa1211128.

Kebede Y, Abula T, Ayele B, Feleke A, Degu G, Kifle A et al. Substances Abuse For the Ethiopian Health Center Team. Ethiop Public Health Train Initiative. 2005; 81.

Fawibe AE, Shittu AO. Prevalence and characteristics of cigarette smokers among undergraduates of the University of Ilorin, Nigeria. Niger J Clin Pract. 2011; 14: 201–205.

CDC. Global Smoking: Gateway to Health Communication & Social Marketing Practice. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2011. Available at: Access date: December 21, 2016

Koushki PA, & Bustan M. Smoking, belt use, and road accidents of youth in Kuwait. Safety Science. 2006; 44(8): 733–746.

M Farajat, C Hoving, and H de Vries. Psychosocial determinants of cigarette smoking among university students in Jordan. Journal of DevelopmentalOrigins of Health and Disease. 2011; 2(3):152–161.

Poscia A, Parente P, Frisicale EM, Teleman AA, de Waure C, Pietro MLD. Risky behaviours among university students in Italy. Ann. Ist. Super. Sanità . 2015; 51( 2 ): 111-115.

Wangeri T, Kimani E, Mutweleli SM. Transitional Challenges Facing University First Year Students in Kenyan Public Universities: A Case of Kenyatta University. Interdisciplinary Review of Economics and Management. 2012; 2(1):41-50.

Nassar H. The economics of tobacco in Egypt: A new analysis of demand, Health, nutrition and population discussion paper. International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/World Bank; 2003. Available at: Access date: December 21, 2016

Mandil A, A Hussein, H Omer, G Turki and I Gaber. Characteristics and risk factors of tabacco consumption among University of Sharjah students: 2005. Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal. 2007; 13(6):1449–1458.

Almutairi K. Tobacco Prevalence among Health Sciences College Students (HSC): Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Middle East journal of family medicine. 2010; 8( 7)

Farajat M, Hoving C, De Vries H. Psychosocial determinants of cigarette smoking among university students in Jordan. Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease. 2011; 2(3):152–161.

Warren C W, Jones N R, Eriksen M P, Asma S. Patterns of global tobacco use in young people and implications for chronic disease burden in adults. Lancet. 2006; 367: 749–753.

Deressa W, Azazh A. Substance use and its predictors among undergraduate medical students of Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia. BMC Public Health. 2011; 11: 660.

Babatunde OA, Elegbede OE, Ayodele LM, Atoyebi OA, Ibirongbe DO. Cigarette Smoking Practices and Its Determinants Among University Students in Southwest, Nigeria. J Asian Sci Res. 2012; 2(2): 62–69.

Ngahane BHM, Luma H, Mapoure YN, Fotso ZM, Ze EA. (2013) Correlates of cigarette smoking among university students in Cameroon. Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2013; 17(2): 270–274.

Aryal UR, Bhatta DN. Perceived benefits and health risks of cigarette smoking among young adults: insights from a cross-sectional study. Tobacco Induced Diseases. 2015; 13:22, DOI: 10.1186/s12971-015-0044-9.

WHO. Global adult tobacco survey (GATS): Bangladesh. World Health Organization 2009. Available at: Access date: December 22, 2016

Sreeramareddy CT, Pradhan PMS, Mir IA, Sin S. Smoking and smokeless tobacco use in nine South and Southeast Asian countries: prevalence estimates and social determinants from Demographic and Health Surveys. Population Health Metrics. 2014; 12:22. doi:10.1186/s12963-014-0022-0.

Kamal SM, Islam MA, Rahman MA. Sociopsychological correlates of smoking among male university students in Bangladesh. Asia Pac J Public Health. 2011; 23(4):555-67. doi: 10.1177/1010539509350495.

Chowdhury MTH, Croucher R. Association between the tobacco cessation training and oral cancer knowledge level with tobacco use related behavior among the 4th year dental undergraduates: a cross sectional study in Dhaka, Bangladesh. J Med. 2008; 9:31-36.

Taheri E, Ghorbani A, Salehi M, Sadeghnia HR. Cigarette Smoking Behavior and the Related Factors Among the Students of Mashhad University of Medical Sciences in Iran. Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal. 2015;17(1):e16769. doi:10.5812/ircmj.16769.

Al-Kubaisy W, Abdullah NN, Al-Nuaimy H, Kahn SM, Halawany G, Kurdy S. Factors Associated with Smoking Behaviour among University Students in Syria. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences. 2012; 38:59 – 65. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.03.324.

Öncel1 SY, Gebizlioğlu OL, Alioğlu FA. Risk factors for smoking behavior among university students. Turk J Med Sci. 2011; 41 (6): 1071-1080

CW Warren, NR Jones, A Peruga, J Chauvin, JP Baptiste, VC Silva et al. Global youth tobacco surveillance:2000–2007.Morbidity and MortalityWeekly Report, CDC. 2008; 57(1):1–21.

Sreeramareddy CT, Suri S, Menezes RG, et al. Self-reported tobacco smoking practices among medical students and their perceptions towards training about tobacco smoking in medical curricula: A cross-sectional, questionnaire survey in Malaysia, India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh. Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy. 2010;5:29. doi:10.1186/1747-597X-5-29.

Minaker LM, Ahmed R, Hammond D, et al. Flavored Tobacco Use Among Canadian Students in Grades 9 Through 12: Prevalence and Patterns From the 2010-2011 Youth Smoking Survey. Preventing Chronic Disease 2014;11:E102. doi: 10.5888/pcd11.140094

XianglongXu, Doris Yin Ping Leung, Bing Li, Pengfei Wang, Yong Zhao.Smoking-Related Knowledge, Attitude, Social Pressure, and Environmental Constraints among New Undergraduates in Chongqing, China. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2015; 12:895-909.

MM Bassiony. Smoking in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Medical Journal. 2009; 30(7):876–881.

G El-Sharkawy. Cigarette smoking among university students: family—related & personal risk factors. Journal of American Science. 2011; 7(3):260–268.

MR Koura, AF Al-Dossary, AA Bahnassy. Smoking pattern among female college students in Dammam, Saudi Arabia. Journal of Family and Community Medicine. 2011;18(2):63–68.

Ng M, Freeman MK, Fleming TD, Robinson M, Dwyer-Lindgren L, Thomson B, Wollum A, Sanman E, Wulf S, Lopez AD, Murray CJL, Gakidou E. Smoking Prevalence and Cigarette Consumption in 187 Countries, 1980-2012. JAMA. 2014;311(2):183-192. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.284692

American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures; 2007. Available at: Access date: December 21, 2016

Stramari LM, Kurtz M, Silva LC. Prevalence of and variables related to smoking among medical students at a university in the city of Passo Fundo, Brazil. J Bras Pneumol. 2009; 35: 442– 448.

Mandil A, Bin Saeed A, Ahmad S, Al-Dabbagh R, Alsaadi M, Khan M. Smoking among university students: a gender analysis. J Infect Public Health. 2010; 3:179–187.

Al-Naggar RA, Al-Dubai SA, Al-Naggar TH, Chen R, Al-Jashamy K. Prevalence and associated factors of smoking among Malaysian university students. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2011; 12:619–624.

Siahpush M, McNeill A, Hammond D, Tong GT. Socioeconomic and country variations in knowledge of health risks of tobacco smoking and toxic constituents of smoke: results from the 2002 international tobacco control (ITC) four country surveys. Tob Control. 2006; 15:iii65 –iii70. doi:10.1136/tc.2005.013276.

Terrades M, Coulter WA, Clarke H, Mullally BH, Stevenson M. Patient’s knowledge and views about the effects of smoking on their mouths and the involvement of their dentists in smoking cessation activities. Br Dent J. 2009; 207:E22.

Rikard–Bell G, Donnelly N, Ward J. Preventive dentistry: what do Australian patients endorse and recall smoking cessation advice by dentists. Br Dent J. 2003; 194:159 -64.

Jensen EJ, Overgaard E. Smoking patterns, knowledge of tobacco related health effects and desires to quit among 14-17- year-old boarding school pupils in Denmark, 1987-90. Tob. Control. 1993; 2:296-99.

Stramari LM, Kurtz M, Silva LC. Prevalence of and variables related to smoking among medical students at a university in the city of Passo Fundo, Brazil. J Bras Pneumol. 2009; 35:442–448.