Background and aims: Usually non-daily smokers do not consider themselves smokers, and they are at a higher level of health risks due to smoking compared to non-smokers. This study aimed to identify the prevalence of non-daily smoking (NDS) and its associated factors among university students.
Methods: This cross-sectional web-based study was performed in Tabriz, Iran. A proportional random sample of 3666 students from all universities of Tabriz were recruited from July to August, 2019, and an online questionnaire was used to collect data. Predictors of NDS were investigated using a multiple logistic regression model.
Results: A total of 15.7% and 7.8% of the students were daily and NDSs, respectively. Compared to the non-smokers, the NDSs were more likely to exhibit high-risk behaviors such as substance abuse (odd ratio [OR]=2.96; 95% CI: 2.12-4.13), alcohol drinking (OR=2.54; 95% CI: 1.78-3.62), hookah smoking experience (OR=9.30; 95% CI: 6.06-14.25), and regular hookah use (OR=24.22; 95% CI: 14.86-39.46). Compared to daily smokers, NDSs were more likely to be female gender (OR=0.16; 95% CI: 0.10-0.24), denial of being a smoker (OR=11.69; 95% CI: 6.86-19.91), not addicted to nicotine (OR=10.02; 95% CI: 4.21-23.85), and less likely to have an intention for quitting in recent months (OR=2.27; 95% CI: 1.28-4.04).
Conclusion: Non-daily smokers do not consider themselves smokers and have no intention to quit smoking. They are more prone to present high-risk health behaviors. Health policymakers should pay more attention to NDSs while planning smoking cessation programs.