Changes in smoking prevalence, attitudes, and beliefs over 4 years following a campus-wide anti-tobacco intervention

J Am Coll Health. 2012;60(7):505-11. doi: 10.1080/07448481.2012.681816.


Objective: The current study examined the effectiveness of an institutional intervention aimed at decreasing prevalence of tobacco use and exposure to smoke on campus over a 4-year period.

Participants: Participants were undergraduate students (N = 4,947) enrolled at a large Midwestern university between 2007 and 2010.

Methods: In 2008, tobacco use was banned on campus. Additionally, campus-wide tobacco cessation services and information were provided to all students. A self-report measure assessing demographics, smoking prevalence, attitudes, and smoke exposure was administered at baseline and at 3 time points over the following 3 years.

Results: The percentage of more frequent smokers and less frequent smokers decreased across assessment points. The program appeared to be less effective for female smokers than male smokers. Further, a significant change in attitudes and secondhand smoke exposure was observed.

Conclusions: It appears that a campus-wide tobacco ban is a well-accepted and effective prevention method for smoking. This study lends considerable support for efforts towards smoke-free campuses.

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Education / methods*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Organizational Policy
  • Prevalence
  • Program Evaluation*
  • Psychometrics
  • Public Health / methods
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk-Taking
  • Self Report
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Smoking Prevention
  • Students / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Universities / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult