Scientific article
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Ranchal Sánchez A, Pérula de Torres LÁ, Santos Luna F, et al Prevalence of tobacco consumption among young physicians at a regional university hospital in southern Spain: a cross-sectional study BMJ Open 2018;8:e018728. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-018728
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Prevalence of Tobacco Consumption among Young Physicians at a Regional University Hospital in Southern Spain


Introduction: The aim of the study is to analyse the prevalence of smoking among resident physicians at a regional university hospital. In addition, we examined the trends in the smoking behaviour of physicians in relation to results obtained in other studies carried out previously at this hospital, as well as those published nationally and internationally.

Method: A cross-sectional observational study evaluating tobacco consumption in young physicians was carried out at the level of secondary healthcare in a regional university hospital in Cordoba, Spain. All the study subjects were resident physicians who underwent a mandatory preliminary occupational health examination between 2012 and 2016. There was no sampling selection as anyone who took this examination was considered to be within the target population. We calculated the proportions of smokers, former smokers and non-smokers, with 95% CIs. Univariate and multivariate analyses (binary logistic regression) were used to analyse the results (P<0.05).

Results: The response rate was 99.4%, with a sample size of 324 out of a possible 326 physicians. The average age was 28.6±3.7—DT—(95% CI 28.2 to 29.0), and 62.3% (202/324; 95% CI 57.3 to 67.2) were women. Smoking prevalence was 6.5% (21/324; 95% CI 3.5 to 9.3) with a further 5.2% (17/324; 95% CI 2.7 to 7.8) being ex-smokers. There were no significant differences in the prevalence of tobacco consumption according to age (P=0.266), sex (9.0% for men and 5.0% for women; P=0.128), medical specialty (P=0.651) or year of residency (P=0.975). A 52.7% decline in the number of young physician smokers was noted between 1986 and 2016 (95% CI −44.0 to −63.5), together with a 64.4% increase in non-smokers (95% CI 55.2 to 77.3).

Conclusions: We observed a significantly low prevalence of tobacco use among trainee physicians in the cohort, an effect of new antismoking laws, with positive role model implications for new physicians and medical students.

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