Nicotine Dependence in a Mexican Social Sciences College Students Sample

Monday, July 11, 2011

Cipriana Caudillo-Cisneros, RN, MS
Departamento de Enfermeria y Obstetricia de Leon, Universidad de Guanajuato Campus Leon, Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico
Lourdes Espinosa-Hernández, PSIC
Departamento de Ciencias Aplicadas al Trabajo, Universidad de Guanajuato, León, Mexico
Rocío Luna-Velázquez, RN
Hospital General de León, Secretaría de Salud de Guanajuato, León, Mexico
Sergio Márquez-Gamiño, MD, PhD
Departamento de Ciencias Aplicadas al Trabajo. División de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad de Guanajuato Campus León, León, Guanajuato, Mexico
Karla S. Vera-Delgado, RN, MSc
Departamento de Enfermería y Obstetricia, Sede Guanajuato, Universidad de Guanajuato, Guanajuato, Mexico

Learning Objective 1: To know the physical and psychosocial nicotine-dependence in a group of Mexican Social and Humanities Sciences students, to grade the problem magnitude in Central Mexico.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to compare our study results with the figures for Latin-American youths as well as with other similar populations.


Smoking, considered as a global health problem represents the second death cause. Attention costs for this public health problem, loss of productivity and loss of quality of life are enormous. Most of smokers get addicted during the adolescence age. Globally, 150 million of youth people are tobacco consumers. Almost a fifth of the Mexican inhabitants are considered as active smokers. Nicotine causes physical and psychosocial dependence, although no all smokers can be considered as nicotine dependent. Our aim was to determine the physical and psychosocial dependence level in a group of Mexican Social and Human Sciences college students.


In a preliminary study we ask a first served basis group of students a demographic questionnaire as well as the Fagerstrom Test Dependence Nicotine and the Glover-Nilsson Smoking Behavior Questionnaire.


55 freshman to senior students from a Social and Humanities Division of a Central Mexico’s public university (50.9% females) answered under supervision the questionnaires. At the time of study the participants were enrolled in Public Administration (40%), Regional Development (12.7%), Social Anthropology (18.2%), Sociology (14.5%) and Social Work (14.5%) academic programs.


Data evidenced that 5.5% of the group had strong physical dependence to nicotine. Psychosocial dependence was considered low in 47.4%; moderate en 38.2%, strong in 10%, and very strong in 3.6% of participants. Our figures are similar to other Latin-American college students. We consider extremely important to extend this study to other discipline students. Those participants carrying strong physical dependence to nicotine are quite below to the Mexican population’ active smokers index (18.5%). Guanajuato is a central located state with 23.2% of its population considered active smokers. Figures are higher in the professional group, in which it can grow up to 31.6%. These means we have a huge opportunity window to control or reduce tobacco epidemiological indexes.