Perceived enforcement of school tobacco policy and adolescents' cigarette smoking

Prev Med. 2009 Jun;48(6):562-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2009.03.008. Epub 2009 Mar 12.


Objectives: School tobacco use policies are part of a comprehensive strategy for preventing or reducing adolescent cigarette smoking. This study examines the relationship between perceived tobacco policy enforcement at the school level and smoking behaviors among students.

Methods: 21,281 middle and high school students of 255 schools participated in the 2006 Oregon Health Teens Survey. Multilevel logistic regression was conducted, using a school-level policy enforcement measure based on aggregated student reports, and individual-level characteristics (e.g., age, gender, cigarette smoking before age 12, personal beliefs about smoking) as predictors of past-30-day cigarette smoking behaviors (e.g., any smoking, daily smoking, heavy episodic smoking, smoking on school property).

Results: Higher levels of perceived enforcement of anti-smoking policy at the school level were inversely associated with the prevalence of past-30-day smoking behaviors, independent of individual-level predictors.

Conclusions: Stricter enforcement of school policies against tobacco use may help prevent or reduce adolescents' cigarette smoking on and outside of school property.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior*
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Female
  • Health Policy*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Oregon
  • Prevalence
  • Risk-Taking
  • School Health Services
  • Schools / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Smoking / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Smoking Prevention
  • Social Perception*
  • Students / legislation & jurisprudence*