219199 Transitions in cigarette smoking among heavy drinking college students: A longitudinal study

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 5:21 PM - 5:38 PM

Abigail Halperin, MD, MPH , Tobacco Studies Program, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
James Sargent, MD , Department of Pediatrics, Dartmouth Medical School, Lebanon, NH
Stevens Smith, PhD , Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
David Brown, PhD , Mental Health and Addiction Research Institute, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Michael Fleming, MD, MPH , Dept of Family Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
This study examines smoking patterns and predictors of change in smoking among 895 students from five universities who participated in a trial to reduce harms from high risk drinking. Baseline smoking rate was 46%. After two years, 39% of smokers quit, 19% reduced their smoking, 18% increased and 24% remained the same; 13% of non-smokers initiated tobacco use. Only 9% of those who quit were daily smokers at baseline, compared with 38% of those who continued to smoke (p<.001). Average baseline drinking level was the same in both groups, but those who quit smoking had reduced their drinking by 45%, compared with a 25% reduction among continuing smokers (p<.001). In regression analyses, smokers who were less tobacco dependent at baseline, increased weekly exercise, and decreased monthly alcohol intake were more likely to be quit (all p<.001). Among baseline non-smokers, predictors of smoking at follow-up included class year and past month drinking level (both p<.03). Gender, age, depression, RAPI score and risky driving practices were not predictive of changes in smoking behavior. Assignment to treatment group was associated with reductions in drinking, however, there was no effect on smoking. Instead, a large share of smokers in both groups reported quitting, suggesting that simply monitoring smoking status among college students may affect quitting, especially among lighter smokers. These findings point to a role for student health clinicians in screening for tobacco use, and addressing other behavioral risk factors, such as drinking and fitness, along with smoking in the context of routine care.

Learning Areas:
Clinical medicine applied in public health
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe factors associated with transitions between smoking and non-smoking among college students who drink heavily.

Keywords: Tobacco, College Students

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a clinician who treats tobacco dependence and a researcher who has served as an investigator on several grants relating to prevention and treatment of tobacco dependence, some with a college student population
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.

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