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Prevalence of tobacco consumption among young physicians at a regional university hospital in southern Spain: a cross-sectional study
  1. Antonio Ranchal Sánchez1,2,3,
  2. Luis Ángel Pérula de Torres1,2,4,
  3. Francisco Santos Luna1,5,
  4. Roger Ruiz-Moral1,6
  1. 1 Maimonides Institute of Biomedical Research of Córdoba (IMIBIC), Córdoba, Spain
  2. 2 School of Medicine and Nursing, University of Córdoba, Córdoba, Spain
  3. 3 Occupational Health Unit, Reina Sofía University Hospital, Córdoba, Spain
  4. 4 Educational Unit on Family and Community Health, Córdoba-Guadalquivir Health District, Córdoba, Spain
  5. 5 Clinical Management Unit of Pneumology, Reina Sofía University Hospital, Córdoba, Spain
  6. 6 School of Medicine, University Francisco de Vitoria, Madrid, Spain
  1. Correspondence to Dr Antonio Ranchal Sánchez; en1rasaa{at}


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.

  • physicians
  • prevalence
  • smoking

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  • Contributors ARS and LAPdT came up with and designed the study, in addition to gathering the data. LAPdT carried out the analysis of the data and ARS, LAPdT, RRM and FSL participated in the interpretation and discussion of the results. All the authors have taken part in writing this article and endorsed the final version for publication. The authors take responsibility for revising and deliberating all the aspects in this article as a team so that everything is expressed with the utmost accuracy and integrity.

  • Funding This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval Córdoba Clinical Research Ethics Committee of Reina Sofía Hospital.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement The data are available upon request from the corresponding author.