Online Program

Campus Tobacco-Free Policy Scale: Measurement of student perceptions of university tobacco-free policy

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Timothy Day, M.S., Department of Public Health Education, University of North Carolina- Greensboro, Greensboro, NC
Ronald Williams Jr., PhD, CHES, Department of Health and Human Performance, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX
Barry Hunt, EdD, Department of Food Science, Nutrition, and Health Promotion, Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS
Kathleen Egan, MS, Department of Social Sciences and Health Policy, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC
introduction: University administrators often hesitate to implement tobacco free campus policies due to fear of student resistance. This study examines the use of a survey instrument which may assist universities in assessing student support for these policies.

methods: A 21-item survey including the 8-item Campus Tobacco-Free Policy Scale (Cronbach’s α=.829) was administered to a convenience sample of students (n=1,235) at a Southern U.S. university. Scale scores were used to determine predictors of perceived support of a tobacco-free policy. Scale range was -2 to 2 with lower scores indicating less overall support of tobacco-free policies. 

results: Sample consisted of 84.6% nonsmokers and 15.4% smokers, consistent with local epidemiological data. Primary predictors of overall tobacco-free policy support were awareness of current campus policy and perceived secondhand smoke risk. Participants that knew the current policy (Scale Score=.395) were more likely (F=7.471; p=.001) to support a tobacco-free policy than those who partially knew the policy (.293) and those who did not know the policy (.203). Participants who perceived secondhand smoke to be a serious health concern (.473) were more likely (F=97.048; p≤.0010 to support a tobacco-free policy than those who perceived it to be somewhat serious (-.019) or not serious at all (-.657).   

conclusion: University health educators should educate students on secondhand smoke risks, as well as increase awareness of the current campus policy.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Differentiate among variables that impact the perceived importance of a tobacco-free policy. Assess student support of tobacco-free policy via the the Campus Tobacco-Free Policy Scale

Keyword(s): College Students, Tobacco Control

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Ms. Egan is a Research Associate at Wake Forest School of Medicine and a Doctoral Student at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her research focuses on the prevention of prescription drug, alcohol, and other illicit drug use among youth and young adults. She is involved with a number of research studies in the areas of youth and young adult access to- and use of alcohol, prescription drugs, tobacco, and other illicit drugs.
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.