184508 Tobacco use and policy on college campuses: A review with a focus on special problems in Nevada

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Daniel Cook, PhD , School of Community Health Sciences, University of Nevada Reno, Reno, NV
Goda Damera, MBPS , School of Public Health, University of Nevada Reno, Reno, NV
Context: Nevada has high smoking-attributed mortality. Tobacco companies target consumers aged 18-24. Tobacco companies are creating various new smokeless products and cigarette alternatives. Previous studies of college campuses have focused on students but not other staff and personnel, and not on tobacco alternatives to cigarettes. Nevada enacted a new indoor air law in 2006.

Objective: To assess the need for any additional tobacco control policy on Nevada college campuses, and to determine any barriers to new policy.

Methods: Qualitative policy analysis, including a systematic literature review to ascertain the best practices for tobacco control on college campuses. We examined the current policy at the two largest Nevada universities. We observed campus buildings for signage and smoking. We searched for key tobacco control actors.

Results: We identified 20 specific goals for tobacco control policy on college campuses. We found the policy on two campuses to satisfy only a few of these criteria. We began to organize a tobacco control network on one campus. We found hookah smoking to be a risk for college students in Reno. We found smoking in doorways to be a point of confusion in absence of legal requirements.

Conclusion: Campuses should improve education programs, communication of outdoor restrictions, remove ashtrays, and develop a stronger tobacco control network. A total outdoor smoke-free policy on college campuses would greatly protect public health. We plan to survey tobacco use on campus in conjunction with students and inclusive of faculty and staff, two campus groups not studied in the literature.

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss previous studies of college campus smoking; 2. Identify campus policy goals regarding tobacco; 3. Apply current knowledge to case study of Nevada; 4. Discover special problems of tobacco use in Nevada among college students.

Keywords: Tobacco Control, College Students

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a political scientist trained in tobacco control policy conducting research at a university as a faculty member.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.