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Smoking-Related Attitudes and Knowledge Among Medical Students and Recent Graduates in Argentina: A Cross-Sectional Study



Physicians in Argentina smoke at rates similar to the general population, and do not have a clear role in tobacco control strategies.


To describe the attitudes and knowledge of medical students and recent graduates towards smoking behavior in Argentina.


Cross-sectional self-administered online survey conducted in 2011.


Medical students and recent medical graduates from the University of Buenos Aires.

Main measures

Attitudes and knowledge were evaluated by responses to 16 statements regarding the effects of smoking cigarettes and the role of physicians in tobacco control. Rates of agreement with a full ban on indoor smoking in different public settings were assessed.

Key results

The sample included 1659 participants (response rate: 35.1 %), 453 of whom (27.3 %) were current smokers. Only 52 % of participants agreed that doctors should set an example for their patients by not smoking, 30.9 % thought that medical advice had little effect on patients' cessation behavior, and 19.4 % believed that physicians could decline to care for smoking patients who failed to quit. In adjusted logistic regression models, current smokers had less supportive attitudes about tobacco control and were less likely than non-smokers to agree with a full indoor smoking ban in hospitals (OR: 0.30; 95 % CI 0.16-0.58), universities (OR: 0.55; 95 % CI 0.41-0.73), workplaces (OR: 0.67; 95 % CI 0.50-0.88), restaurants (OR: 0.42; 95 % CI 0.33-0.53), cafes (OR: 0.41; 95 % CI 0.33-0.51), nightclubs (OR: 0.32; 95 % CI 0.25-0.40), and bars (0.35; 95 % CI 0.28-0.45). Recent medical graduates had more accurate knowledge about cessation and were more likely to agree with a full smoking ban in recreational venues.


Although most participants reported a strong anti-tobacco attitude, a proportion still failed to recognize the importance of their role as physicians in tobacco control strategies. Current smokers and current students were less likely to support indoor smoking bans. Specific educational curricula could address these factors.

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