218969 College student attitudes regarding smoking-free policies in public, on campus, and in private spaces

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 4:47 PM - 5:04 PM

Carla Berg, PhD , Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Tobacco control policies have been increasingly implemented in public places, on college campuses, and in private spaces. Thus, we examined college student smokers' attitudes regarding a recently-implemented statewide smoke-free policy, campus policies, and private smoking restrictions (homes/cars) using surveys and focus groups. We conducted 12 focus groups among college smokers (N=73) drawn from survey participants at two colleges in Minnesota (two-year technical college, four-year university; N=2,700). Each group was homogenous in gender and school. In regard to public policies, 79.5% approved of the ban in restaurants, whereas 58.9% approved of the ban in bars, with women being more likely to approve of the ban in bars (p=.04). Participants indicated the following benefits of the ban: respects rights of nonsmokers, prevents exposure to secondhand smoke, reduces smoking when drinking, and freedom from the smell of smoke. Concerns about the ban included infringing on rights of smokers and bar/restaurant owners and the economic impact of the ban on bars/restaurants. In regard to campus smoke-free policies, few people reported that a smoke-free policy would negatively impact student quality of life, learning, or enrollment (34.2%, 16.4%, 20.5%, respectively). Participants noted concern about enforcement of campus policies and the impact on smokers' rights. In regard to private restrictions, 22.2% had complete car restrictions, and 47.2% had complete home bans, with women being more likely to restrict smoking at home (p=.01). Thus, there is a high level of support for public and campus smoke-free policies among college smokers, although additional efforts should target promoting private restrictions.

Learning Areas:
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss college student smokers' attitudes about public, campus, and private smoke-free policies. 2. Examine the impact of these attitudes on adoption of tobacco control policies.

Keywords: Tobacco Policy, Tobacco Control

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the PI of the grant that funded the research, was lead on all aspects of the research, and ran the analysis and wrote the manuscript.
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.

Back to: 3380.0: SFU: Smoke Free Universities