Prevalence and social determinants of Tobacco use among health profession students in Southeast Asia
Tobacco use has been the single biggest cause of morbidity, mortality, and health inequality in Southeast Asia countries. This cross-sectional study was conducted to examine tobacco use and its social determinants among health profession students in Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia using a multi-stage sampling method. The Global Health Profession Students Survey questionnaire was modified and validated for an online survey. After IRB approval, the eligible health profession students from the selected universities were invited to join an online survey with the response rate which varied from 40 percent in Indonesia to 45 percent in Thailand and 55 percent in Malaysia. Out of 698 health profession students, 33 subjects (4.7%) reported using tobacco in the past 30 days. Public health students reported the highest prevalence of current tobacco use (5.8%), while medical students and nursing students reported 4.3 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively. According to multiple logistic regression analysis, adjusted odds ratios for current tobacco use was higher for females, country (Thailand), and low self-efficacy. These findings demonstrate minor impact of social determinants (sex, country, and self-efficacy) on tobacco use. The findings can be used to advocate tobacco use control and prevention, particularly for female health profession students by strengthening gender-sensitive implementation and monitoring system for smoke free campuses in ASEAN universities.