INTERNET ADDICTION AND CIGARETTE SMOKING AMONG STUDENTS OF MEDICAL COLLEGES IN DUHOK
Background: Addiction on the internet has become a major concern nowadays with the increase in the need for it for various daily life tasks. The potential of being addicted to one or more behaviors remains a subject of debate. This study aimed to identify the prevalence of internet addiction and its relation to cigarette smoking.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among students of medical colleges in Duhok governorate (Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Nursing and Zakho College of Medicine); a total of 421 participants responded to a questionnaire that assessed the degree of internet addiction and cigarette smoking dependence, along with sociodemographic data. Internet Addiction Test and Fagerstrom Test for Nicotine Dependence were used to assess internet addiction and cigarette smoking dependence.
Results: The prevalence of internet addiction was 82.7%. There were 41 (9.7%) cigarette smokers, all males, of whom 37 (90.2%) were internet addicts. Prevalence of smoking was observed to increase with the severity of internet addiction, though the relationship was statistically not significant (P= 0.304). Compared to males, female students were more likely to have no or single addiction, while males were prone to double addiction.
Conclusions: The prevalence of internet addiction was high, compared to the low prevalence of cigarette smoking. Prevalence of smoking increased with the severity of internet addiction, but this did not reach statistical significance
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