The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

5081.0: Wednesday, November 13, 2002 - 1:06 PM

Abstract #45715

Impact of tobacco related policies and industry promotions on smoking among college students and other young adults

Abigail Halperin, MD, MPH, Center for Health Education & Research, University of Washington, 901 Boren Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122, 206-616-4482,

The prevalence of tobacco use among college students has risen steadily in the last 10 years, following two decades of stability. Cigarette smoking alone increased by almost 50%, from 22% in 1990 to 31% in 1999, according to Monitoring the Future Survey. The prevalence of cigarette smoking among young adults (ages 18-24) declined, parallel to that of all adults, from 1965 until 1995. Since then, smoking prevalence in this age group has increased, and now exceeds that of all other adult age groups. This threatens to reverse the trend of decreasing tobacco use among adults in the United States, and is likely to cause increased tobacco related morbidity and mortality in this population as it ages. There is evidence that the rise in smoking among young adults, including college students, may be partly attributable to a shift in the tobacco industry’s promotional resources from children and younger teens to the legally targeted 18-24 year old population. This age group is particularly vulnerable to tobacco marketing strategies as they make the transition from adolescence to adulthood, a time when young people often establish or abandon their smoking habits. One third of young adults in this country attend institutions of higher education. There is concern that many colleges and universities do not provide adequate prevention and cessation programs for their students and may have campus policies and practices that inadvertently support smoking, rather than non-smoking by their students. We will discuss how developing smoke-free campuses may reduce smoking in this population.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Tobacco Control, Youth

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Tobacco Control Research in Targeted Populations

The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA