What differs former, light and heavy smokers? Evidence from a post-conflict setting|
Gazibara, Tatjana; Milic, Marija; Parlic, Milan; Stevanovic, Jasmina; Mitic, Nebojsa; Maric, Gorica; Tepavcevic, Darija Kisic & Pekmezovic, Tatjana
Background: Evidence suggests that people who live in regions affected by the armed conflict are more likely to smoke.
Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess factors associated with smoking status in a sample of students in the
northern Kosovo province.
Materials and methods: A total of 514 students enrolled in University in Kosovska Mitrovica, Kosovo, were recruited between
April to June 2015 at Student Public Health Center during mandatory health checks. Participants filled in socio-demographic
and behavioral questionnaire and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). Based on responses about smoking, students
were categorized in non-smokers, former smokers, light smokers (1-13 cigarettes/day) and heavy smokers (> 13 cigarettes/
Results: Of 514 students, 116 (22.6%) classified themselves as smokers. Higher education level of fathers (Odds ratio
[OR]=2.89, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.30-6.44, p=0.009), not living with smokers (OR=0.42, 95%CI 0.15-0.97,
p=0.017) and longer exposure to second hand smoke (OR=1.07, 95%CI 1.01-1.13, p=0.036) was associated with former
smoking. Studying medical and natural sciences (OR=2.07, 95%CI 1.05-4.18, p=0.040), consuming alcohol (OR=2.98,
95%CI 1.19-10.03, p=0.020), living with smokers (OR=2.88, 95%CI 1.49-5.56, p=0.002), longer exposure to second hand
smoke (OR=1.06, 95%CI 1.01-1.11, p=0.019) and having a more intense depressive symptoms (OR=1.08, 95%CI 1.03-1.13,
p=0.002) was associated with light smoking. Being male (OR=0.22, 95%CI 0.07-0.41, p=0.001), older (OR=1.47, 95%CI
1.21-1.78, p=0.001), living with smokers (OR=3.78, 95%CI 1.69-8.07, p=0.001), longer daily exposure to second-hand
smoke (OR=1.10, 95%CI 1.04-1.16, p=0.001), and having more severe depressive symptoms (OR=1.12, 95%CI 1.07-1.18,
p=0.001) were associated with heavy smoking.
Conclusion: Smoking prevention and cessation programs should include the entire community, because exposure to environmental
second hand smoke may facilitate initiation and more intense smoking. Screening of student smokers for
depression should be prioritized in the process of rebuilding the framework for primary and secondary prevention in the
Students; smoking; tobacco; prevention.