258932 Characteristics of college smokers participating in a text-messaging tobacco cessation study

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pamela C. Guevara, MPH , Department of Community and Family Health, College of Public Health, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Elisabeth A. Franzen , Department of Community and Family Health, College of Public Health, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Mary P. Martinasek, PhD, MPH, CHES, CPH , Department of Health Science and Human Performance, College of Natural and Health Sciences, University of Tampa, Tampa, FL
Tara E. Trudnak, PhD, MPH, CPH , AcademyHealth, Washington, DC
Eric R. Buhi, MPH, PhD , Department of Community and Family Health, College of Public Health, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Background/Purpose: Young peoples' smoking behaviors are often influenced by peer pressure, lack of parental control, and social events/media. Due to their vulnerability and risk, it is important to focus cessation efforts and interventions on this priority population. Our purpose was to understand characteristics of college smokers seeking smoking cessation services (SCS).

Methods: A longitudinal study design was employed in 3 phases, from December 2010 to January 2011, with college students seeking SCS and participating in a text-messaging smoking cessation study. Descriptive analyses were conducted on gender, age, sexual orientation, relationship status, residence (on/off campus), cigarette craving/trigger/stressor specifics, and smoking environment.

Findings/Results: Forty-seven (N=47) student smokers were recruited, of which 55% were female and 89% were enrolled full-time. Participants' ages ranged from 18-38 years (mode=18 years [13%]). Most (83%) identified as heterosexual, half were in a relationship, and two-thirds were living off-campus. Participants identified school stress as a leading stressor influencing their smoking (94%). About half of the students reported smoking regular/full flavored cigarettes (51%), and students reported that they tend to smoke more when they are around other smokers (88%), feeling anxious/stressed (88%), drinking alcohol (85%), and prior to an exam (85%). Students also reported “being on campus” (85%), “driving” (81%), and “being at a bar/club” (79%) as a trigger for smoking.

Conclusions/Recommendations: Audience-centered understanding of triggers and environments among young people is important for promotion of cessation and health services. Taking this approach will aid school/college health services in both advertising and personalizing smoking cessation interventions.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
1) Describe demographic and smoking characteristics of college students who seek smoking cessation services. 2) Discuss students' smoking environments and cigarette triggers, cravings, and stressors.

Keywords: Smoking Cessation, College Students

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was involved in this research project and participated in the planning, data collection, and analysis. I have a master's degree in public health and have experience with disseminating research findings at national conferences. My MPH is in global health practices. I am currently a PhD candidate, University of South Florida.
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.