The purpose of this cross sectional study was to explore university students' knowledge, attitude and practice towards smoking and to compare these factors between smokers and non-smokers. A sample of 2793 students was randomly selected to complete a self-administered questionnaire about knowledge, attitude and practice of smoking at three universities in Irbid, Jordan. The Majority of the smoking students (75.2%) knew the adverse effects of smoking. Rates of non-smoking students who knew the adverse effects of smoking were significantly higher than that of students who smoke. A high rate of students showed an opposing attitude towards the assumption that smoking females would have more friends (89.6%), have stronger personality (93.4%), and be more attractive (90.6%) than non-smoking females. Similar higher rates of negative attitude were also observed towards the smoking male. About 50% of smokers have a misguided belief that smoking helps them concentrate while studying and 37.7% believe that smoking helps in avoiding obesity. Students that started smoking before enrollment in a university had a significantly higher rate of heavy smoking as compared to those who started smoking after being enrolled. Students smoke not because they lack the knowledge about the risk of smoking but due to misguided beliefs and attitudes.
Key words: Attitude, knowledge, practice, smoking, students, university.
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