A study was conducted at Kirikkale University of Turkey in 2008 to identify the major latent genetic and environmental factors that engage students into smoking behavior. Cancer and cardiovascular diseases are a major health concerns in Turkey. Smoking causes fatal diseases like lung cancer and other related cancers in developed countries. Currently, approximately 31.2% of the population smokes in Turkey.
A total of 1734 students, (from which 869 were males and 866 were female) we assessed for the study. The study used face-to-face interviews to collect data for the research. It included questions about the factors like age, income, gender, smoking status, smoking status of parents, education level of parents, daily sports activities, smoking history, alcohol use, and behavioral problems. A previous GATS finding showed that the daily smokers or occasional smokers were around the age of 15 to 24.
The research concluded that each factor had its own impact on the smoking behavior of the students. Genetic factor had a major role in nicotine dependence. Foreign commercials, foreign movies and parental smoking were the top three reasons for the commencement of such habit. 46.2% of students started smoking because of the influence of peers or other environmental factors. The students also kept smoking to avoid unhappiness, stress and comfort. In most countries, males were more involved in smoking behavior in comparison to the females and had a wide gap between their percentages. However, young adults have a small gap between the male and female smoking rates. The risk of smoking was 2.968 times higher in males than in comparison to the females.
A test conducted showed the comparison of nicotine dependence with various factors like gender, income, education of parents, smoking status of parents, and alcohol to see the relevance of these factors. There was no impact of age or the age in which an individual started smoking, on an individual's smoking habits. These was also no correlation of no. of cigarettes smoked per day with the smoking habits in general.
A bivariate logistics regression analyses stated that father's education and sports activities do not affect the smoking status. However, a mother spends more time on a child's discipline, hence a mother's education does leave a greater impact on the smoking habits of the students.
Individuals with parents that have a high education level tend to smoke more as the income generated in the family is also high which makes it easier for them to buy the cigarettes. Because of the high prices of tobacco products, cigarettes are less affordable for low-income people. This is a policy adopted by the government in an attempt to decrease smoking habits. High income increased the risk of smoking, 1.579 times.
On a comparison with the results of the US data, it was revealed that there is a slight higher percentages of male smokers as compared to that of the males and a slightly lower percentage of female smokers in comparison to that of Turkey.
The lack of awareness among the parents have caused the individuals to engage into such activities. Parents must be taught about the influence they have on their children. People must be educated about the fatal diseases smoking can cause to prevent privileged individuals from buying cigarettes.