Online Program

Student Attitudes and Perceptions About E-cigarettes and a Tobacco-free Campus Policy at a Kentucky University

Monday, November 2, 2015

Alina Strand, BA, Environmental Health Science, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, KY
Jason Marion, Ph.D., Department of Environmental Health Science, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, KY
E-cigarettes have rapidly entered the US marketplace and are being consumed by persons of all ages, primarily by current smokers, especially young adults. It is important to identify and explain the attitudes and perceptions about these products and their use among university students given that many new ideas and trends emerge on college campuses. At the same time tobacco-free campus policies are becoming prevalent across the country, as the environmental effects of tobacco become more understood. We used a cross-sectional study design to characterize the attitudes, behaviors, and perceptions of a randomly selected group of university students attending undergraduate general studies courses through an in-class paper survey. Data were collected from 523 respondents during October 2014. Logistic regression models were constructed to assess factors associated with support for a tobacco-free campus policy as well as factors associated with current e-cigarette use. Multivariable logistic regression demonstrated that female gender was associated with less e-cigarette use (OR = 0.49; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.26 – 0.94); whereas cigarette smoking (OR = 13.62; 95% confidence interval (CI): 7.06 – 26.27), having two parents that smoked (OR = 3.76; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.75 – 8.05), and having a Greek-life affiliation (OR = 2.9; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.31 – 6.45) were associated with any e-cigarette use in the past 30 days. This analysis provides quantifiable evidence of target audiences on the university campus for health promotion.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe attitudes and behaviors of university students in Kentucky as they relate to a tobacco-free campus policy, e-cigarette safety, and e-cigarette use; Compare attitudes pertaining to individual liberties and community health protection among users and non-users; Explain the level of support for the tobacco-free campus policy and e-cigarette use at a public Appalachian university; Compare e-cigarette usage and perceptions by academic rank

Keyword(s): College Students, Tobacco Use

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked with college students for the past 15 years in the area of Student Services and I am currently completing my culminating research project for my MPH at EKU. Additionally, I gained experience doing research in Neurobiology and Experimental Psychology during my undergraduate studies at Smith College and Amherst College under my faculty mentors at those institutions. This abstract represents my research as an MPH student.
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.