243915 Community Determinants of College based Tobacco-free Policies in the United States: A mixed- methods approach

Monday, October 31, 2011

Sreenivas P. Veeranki, MD, MPH , Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN
Hadii Mamudu, MPA, PhD , Department of Health Services Administration, University of California, San Francisco, Johnson City, TN
Brooke Freeman , Department of Health Services Administration, East Tennessee State University, West Jefferson, NC
Tobacco use among young adults between 18 and 24 years is higher than the national average (21.8% vs. 20.6% in 2009), about a third of whom attend colleges and universities. It is during this age period that they are exposed to peer pressure, risky behaviors and targeted by tobacco industry, and transitioning from social to permanent smoker. Thus, attainment of Healthy People 2020 goal of 12% national smoking rate requires a drastic decrease in smoking among college students. In this study, we used mixed-methods approach to analyze college based tobacco-free policies and delineate determinants of policies' strengths. Qualitatively, a CDC School Tobacco-Free Policy (STPI) Index was used to code the policies using Nvivo software. Additionally, using Bronfenbrenner's ecological systems model, we conducted multivariate regression analysis of policies by integrating school and community socioeconomic, political, geographic and cultural characteristics to ascertain the key determinants. In Tennessee, while there is wide variation in policies, two institutions, East Tennessee State University and Milligan College, “identified as having 100% tobacco-free campuses”, respectively scored 22 and 18 of 40 on STPI, primarily due to low compliance, weak enforcement and absence of reporting mechanisms. This study shall confer public health professionals an understanding of policy environment of educational institutions, assistance in tailoring their efforts towards policy change and developing programs for tobacco use prevention and cessation. Furthermore, the key determinants of policies shall provide guide for directing scarce resources to venues of high possibility for policy change, namely a “Shifting Venue Systems Approach.”

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
1) Assess the strength of college or university based tobacco-free policies in the United States. 2) Identify and analyze the key determinants of college based tobacco-free policies in the United States. 3) Describe and discuss the determinants of successful policy development and implementation in educational institutions. 4) Compare and contrast college based tobacco-free policies in the United States and the need to promote them worldwide.

Keywords: Tobacco Policy, Youth

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a second year doctoral student and have been working on tobacco use behavior and tobacco policies at state and community level for more than 2 years. Last year, I had an opportunity to present my research on state policies. This year, my focus is towards youth and college based policies. Along with high quality education and focused research towards tobacco-free policies, I feel I am qualified to present this research study.
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.