Transition to a Tobacco Free Campus: Cigarette Smoking Trends Among IC Undergraduates
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Transition to a Tobacco Free Campus: Cigarette Smoking Trends Among IC Undergraduates Amanda Cheetham , Christie Larrabee & Divine Sebuharara HPPE/ESS Dr. Srijana Bajracharya & Dr. Miranda Kaye. Background.

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Transition to a Tobacco Free Campus: Cigarette Smoking Trends Among IC UndergraduatesAmanda Cheetham, Christie Larrabee& Divine SebuhararaHPPE/ESSDr. SrijanaBajracharya& Dr. Miranda Kaye



  • Cigarette Smoking associated with CVD, respiratory issues, various types of cancer, and increases the risk for several other conditions.

  • Over 7,000 chemicals in SHS and 69 proven to cause cancer.

  • Individuals exposed to SHS smoke before age 25 are more likely to develop lung cancer as opposed to those who are first exposed after age 25.

  • 14.3% of undergraduate students have smoked in the last 30 days.

American Cancer Society, 2013; Asomaning et al., 2007; CDC, 2012a; NCHA, 2012



  • More than 500 colleges are already smoke free.

  • Compliance with these policies is a challenge - a trend seen nationally and internationally.

  • Smoke free policies have been found to decrease smoking rates among undergraduate students.

Fallin, 2013; Hahn, 2010

Research question

Research Question

  • What variables most significantly predict cigarette use among undergraduate students?

  • Predictions:

    • Students’ perceptions of peer smoking habits will predict their smoking behaviors.

    • Students who report receiving information from the College regarding tobacco use, will report smoking less frequently.



  • American College Health Association National College Health Assessment (ACHA-NCHA)

  • Random Participant Selection: E-mail invitation sent to 3,578 randomly selected full-time undergraduate students

    • Response rate: 34.3% (n = 1222)





  • The following questions were used from the survey:

    • “Within the last 30 days, on how many days did you use cigarettes”

    • “Within the last 30 days, how often do you think the typical student at your school used cigarettes”

    • “Have you received information on tobacco use from your college or university?”

    • “What is your gender?”

    • “What is your year in school?”

    • “Where do you currently live?”

    • “Within the last 12 months, have you participated in organized college athletics at the varsity level?”





  • Smoker Profile

  • 72% male (80 of 111)

  • 86% non-athletes (96 of 112)

  • 75% live on campus (84 of 112)

  • 35% are sophomore students (38 of 110)

  • 67% (74 of 111) of smokers report not receiving information from IC about tobacco.



Current residence (β = .11), varsity athlete status (β = -.11), gender (β = .08) and information received about tobacco (β = .11) significantly predicted cigarette use among participants.

Perceptions of tobacco use (β = .02) and year in school (β = .01) were not significant predictors of cigarette use.

All variables explain 4.4% of difference in cigarette use in the last 30 days.

F(6, 1159) = 8.84, p < .001



  • Neither prediction was supported:

    • Perceptions NOT a predictor of smoking

    • IC students are not influenced by subjective norm.

    • Information received predicts smoking

    • Explanation may be that smokers are more likely to recall receiving information that pertains to a behavior they engage in.



  • Tobacco information distributed by college is reaching the population but not having the desired effect.

  • Intervention should be based on:

    • Theory of Reasoned Action and Planned Behavior,

      • Perceived control

    • Diffusion Theory of Innovations

    • Social Marketing Theory



American Cancer Society. (2013). Secondhand smoke. Retrieved from

American College Health Association. American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment II: Reference Group Executive Summary Spring 2012. Hanover, MD: American College Health Association; 2012. 

Asomaning, K. Miller, D. P., Liu, G., Wain, J. C., Lynch, T. J., Su, L., & Christiani, D. C., (2007). Second hand smoke, age of exposure and lung cancer risk. Lung Cancer, 61, 13-20.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012a). Health effects of cigarette smoking. Retrieved from

Fallin, A., Johnson, A.O., Riker, C., Cohen, E., Rayens, M.K., Hahn, E.J. (2011). An intervention to increase compliance with a tobacco-free university policy. The Science of Lifestyle Change, 27(3): 162-169.

Hahn, E.J., Rayens, M.K., Ridner, S.L., Butler, K.M., Zhang, M., & Staten, R.R. (2010). Smoke-free laws and smoking and drinking among college students. Journal of Community Health, 35: 503-511.

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