Tue, Dec 07, 2010 - Page 2 News List

Medical students unaware of smoking hazards: DOH

Staff Writer, with CNA

Local medical students lack proper knowledge about the risks associated with smoking and how to help people quit the habit, a survey released by the Department of Health (DOH) said yesterday.

The survey, conducted last year among university juniors studying medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and nursing, found that although 83.5 percent of the students learned in school about the health risks of smoking, only 35.2 percent are aware of the effects of second-hand smoke.

Furthermore, 28 percent were under the false impression that “light” cigarettes are less dangerous to human health, according to the poll conducted by the department’s Bureau of Health Promotion.

The survey also found that medical school students are being poorly trained to help patients quit smoking, Bureau of Health Promotion Director-Ggeneral Chiou Shu-ti (邱淑媞) said.

Only 11.6 percent of the respondents had attended formal courses on how to help people quit, she said.

“This is a wake-up call for us,” said Lai Chi-wan (賴其萬), chairman of the Ministry of Education’s Medical Education Committee.

Lai said he was previously not aware of the issue, but would present the problem to other members of the committee and devise a comprehensive smoking education plan for medical students.

Doctors should serve as role models for their patients and have a social responsibility to take care of their patients’ health, as well as their own, he said.

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