When and why do Portuguese University Students start smoking: implications for prevention / Cuándo y por qué comienzan a fumar los estudiantes universitarios portugueses: implicaciones para la prevención
Palabras clave:Key words, smoking, prevention, tobacco.
The Portuguese National Health Surveys show that, contrarily to what happens in most developed countries, the Portuguese population in general starts smoking later than we were led to expect. These facts pose a question; to know if the same occurs with university students and if the transition from secondary to university favours regular smoking. To give an answer to this question, a survey took place at Minho University at the end of the school year 2002/2003. It consisted of the application of a questionnaire to a stratified sample constituted by 388 university students. The results show that although most of the students started smoking in secondary school (therefore in adolescence), a high percentage of students (about 30%), particularly female students (34%), started smoking at university. Contrarily to what happens in most developed countries, the Portuguese population in general and university students in particular start smoking later than it would have been expected.