Predictors of smoking among US college students

Am J Public Health. 1998 Jan;88(1):104-7. doi: 10.2105/ajph.88.1.104.


Objectives: This study explored predictors of smoking among a large, representative national sample of students enrolled in American 4-year colleges.

Methods: A sample of undergraduate students, randomly selected from 140 colleges, was sent a detailed questionnaire that included questions about smoking status.

Results: The 30-day smoking prevalence was 22.3%; 25% of the participants were former smokers. Multivariate analyses suggested that, among college students, men are less likely to smoke than women. In addition, high-risk behaviors (e.g., marijuana use) and lifestyle choices (e.g., nonparticipation in athletics) increased the likelihood of being a smoker.

Conclusions: This study's findings have important implications for health education and promotion among college populations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Smoking / ethnology
  • Students* / psychology
  • Students* / statistics & numerical data
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Universities