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Smoking is one of the major problems in modern medicine. Poland still remains at the forefront of countries where the number of people addicted to nicotine is relatively large, and smoking is a major problem in environments of academic students. The aim of the study is to understand and compare the reasons of smoking, the degree of nicotine dependence and motivation to quit smoking of students of medical and non-medical universities. The methods employed during the study are two questionnaires; the questionnaire of Fagerström used for assessing the degree of nicotine dependence and the questionnaire of Schneider used for assessing the motivation to quit smoking. The study was carried out anonymously from April to June 2013 and involved 200 students from Lublin University of Technology and the Medical University of Lublin. During the study significant differences between students of medical and non-medical universities in terms of initiation and duration of nicotine addiction have been shown. The most common cause of reaching for cigarettes by respondents from both universities is stress and the situation in which students smoke cigarettes most commonly is during social meetings. Respondents from non-medical universities often reach for a cigarette out of boredom or to make contacts. They are in a higher degree of dependence on nicotine, experience greater satisfaction from smoking and, at the same time, their habit is gaining greater acceptance on the part of their friends. Students of medical schools are more aware that addiction to nicotine has a negative impact on health and are more motivated to quit smoking than their peers. Sociodemographic factors such as gender, place of residence, the economic situation did not affect the level of motivation to quit smoking by respondents from both types of schools. By contrast, the degree of nicotine dependence of students from medical schools is impacted only by their economic situation.

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