The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2010 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

A CAMPUS COMMUNITY’S ATTITUDES AND BEHAVIORS REGARDING TOBACCO USAGE

Christy Kane, Elizabeth Fitzgerald, Helen Grace Ryan, Alice Kimble; Bellarmine University, Louisville, KY

Background: Many college campuses are considering adopting a tobacco-free policy. During the spring semester of 2007, a group of campus community members including administrators, faculty, staff, and students convened to begin dialogue about this issue. As a first step, the committee gathered data via a survey to determine campus community members’ tobacco use behaviors and attitudes. Method: All campus community members (a total of approximately 2,900 individuals including administrators, faculty, staff, and students) were invited to participate by electronic mail. A link to the electronic survey (adapted from the Indiana University Southeast Smoking Survey) was included in the invitation. The instrument included 25 items including demographic questions as well as questions about tobacco and smokeless tobacco usage. In addition, participants were asked about their attitudes regarding a specific tobacco use policy (for example, specific policy language, who should be responsible for enforcing the policy, as well as the preferred sanctions if the policy is violated). Results/Conclusions: The response rate was 36% or 989 participants. The majority of respondents were female undergraduate students. Only 3.7% of survey participants smoke more than 10 cigarettes each day. While most respondents did not use tobacco, over half reported that they were impacted at least weekly by someone else’s smoking on campus. Members of the campus community were also aware of the health implications of tobacco usage. In general, most participants were satisfied with the current tobacco use policy on campus; however, over half agreed that a more strict policy would either significantly or slightly improve the overall campus environment. In addition, community members desired more tobacco cessation programming offered on campus. Sponsored Research - None