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Study on tobacco consumption among nursing students in Catalonia (ECTEC)

Carrer Rosselló, núm. 229, 4rt 2a B 08008 Barcelona


Nurse in charge: Cristina Martínez Martínez

Entity/Agency in charge: Consell de Col·legis d’Infermeres i Infermers de Catalunya/ Institut Català d’Oncologia (Unitat de Control del Tabac) 



Nurses can perform a significant change in the reduction of the morbimortality related to tobacco consumption thanks to the supply of expert advice to stop smoking in their health care practice. Due to the important educational role of nurses in the control of tobacco use, the curriculum of the University Degree in Nursing should include contents on the interventions for quitting smoking. Some previous studies have evaluated this collective’s tobacco consumption and their knowledge on tobacco use, although these studies were conducted in single university centers.


Analyzing the prevalence of tobacco consumption among students of the University Degree in Nursing and describing its determinants, consumption pattern and intention to quit smoking. Identifying the knowledge received and acquired by the nursing students in relation with the treatment of tobacco use.


Transversal multicenter study of prevalence through survey. An anonymous, self-complemented questionnaire was distributed among the core subjects in the degree (which are common to all the faculties in Spain). The selected population are students from the nursing degree in the four years of nursing of the 17 University Schools of Nursing in Catalonia. A self-reported questionnaire was used to collect socio-demographic data and tobacco consumption information. The smokers were asked about their consumption and intention to quit smoking. All students were asked whether they had received training on tobacco use and what was their current knowledge on it. In addition, the questionnaire explored their attitude towards the current regulations on tobacco consumption in hospitals and universities, as well as their feelings on the exemplary role of nursing.


September 2014 – November 2016.


The study is funded by the Consell de Col·legis d’Infermers i Infermeres de Catalunya (€11,844.72).


The study “Tobacco Consumption among Nursing Students in Catalonia” (ECTEC) has counted on more than 4 thousand students from the 15 university schools in nursing of Catalonia and it shows the need to implement improvement strategies in the training programs of the nursing degree to allow the future nurses to effectively play their role as fundamental agents in the control of tobacco use among the population. According to the study, a 23.4% of the nursing students consider that they have the necessary knowledge to help a smoker to quit smoking, but the remaining 77.7% does not feel sufficiently prepared. It is a gap in the nursing study plans that «must be addressed in order for the future nurses in the country to be able to successfully conduct interventions for the control of tobacco use and for the decrease of the prevalence», explains Dr. Cristina Martínez, nurse, director of the study and coordinator of the Tobacco Use Commission of the Consell d’Infermeres i Infermers de Catalunya (CIIC). The study has been promoted and financed by the CIIC and conducted by the Unit of Tobacco Use Control of the Institut Català d’Oncologia.

The study has collected data to know about aspects such as the tobacco and cannabis consumption, the adherence to the smoke-free areas in college campuses, the feelings on the exemplary role of the nursing professionals and students, and the training and knowledge on tobacco use. These data will boost the work with university schools in nursing to debate conjointly both the strategies that can be applied to deepen the knowledge that is acquired throughout the nursing studies, and the measures that may accompany the students in their own tobacco awareness and withdrawal as future health professionals.

As for the consumption pattern among students, 31.2% of the participants were smokers, while 55.5% had never smoked and 13.3% of them were ex-smokers. With regard to cannabis consumption, 11% of them consumes it, mostly occasionally. «It is interesting to observe how the students have still not acquired the awareness that, as future health professionals, they should set an example by not smoking», explains Martínez. «Only 45.5% of them think that they are a social example in this sense, while the 63.2% manifests that it is the working professionals who should actually set an example.»

The study has determined that there is a high adherence to the smoke-free areas in the lecture buildings, but the 98% manifests that people do smoke around the external areas of university campuses. Although the Spanish regulations do not include the prohibition to smoke around the external university campuses, over half of the university campuses in the United States of America are smoke-free. Therefore, we can still progress in terms of policies that promote a healthy environment within the teaching field.

The documentation below is only available in catalan.

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Carrer Rosselló, núm. 229, 4rt 2a B 08008 Barcelona

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