Screening and brief intervention for tobacco use by student health providers on college campuses

J Am Coll Health. 2012;60(1):66-73. doi: 10.1080/07448481.2011.572325.


Objective: This study assessed college students' reports of tobacco screening and brief intervention by student health center providers.

Participants: Participants were 3,800 students from 8 universities in North Carolina.

Methods: Web-based survey of a stratified random sample of undergraduates.

Results: Fifty-three percent reported ever visiting their student health center. Of those, 62% reported being screened for tobacco use. Logistic regression revealed screening was higher among females and smokers, compared to nonsmokers. Among students who were screened and who reported tobacco use, 50% reported being advised to quit or reduce use. Brief intervention was more likely among current daily smokers compared to current nondaily smokers, as well as at schools with higher smoking rates. Screening and brief intervention were more likely at schools with lower clinic caseloads.

Conclusions: Results highlight the need to encourage college health providers to screen every patient at every visit and to provide brief intervention for tobacco users.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data*
  • North Carolina
  • Sex Distribution
  • Student Health Services / methods
  • Student Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Students / statistics & numerical data*
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / prevention & control
  • Universities