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Cigarette use by college students in smoke-free housing: results of a national study.
Am J Prev Med 2001; 20(3):202-7AJ

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Cigarette-smoking rates have increased in recent years among college students. Smoke-free residences offer a possible means of reducing or preventing smoking. However, their use has as yet not been evaluated. This paper examines whether students residing in smoke-free residences are less likely to smoke cigarettes than students in other campus residences, and if such lower rates apply to all types of students and colleges.

METHODS

The Harvard School of Public Health College Alcohol Study surveyed a nationally representative sample of college students at 128 U.S. 4-year colleges regarding tobacco use and related behaviors in the spring of 1999. The responses of students living in smoke-free and unrestricted residences at 101 campuses were compared.

RESULTS

Current smoking prevalence was significantly lower among residents of smoke-free housing (21.0%) as compared with residents of unrestricted housing (30.6%, p<0.0001). The lower rate of current cigarette use was consistent with all types of student and college characteristics with few exceptions. Current cigarette use was significantly lower for those living in smoke-free housing than for residents of unrestricted housing among students who were not regular smokers before age 19 (10% vs 16.9%, p<0.0001), but not among students who smoked regularly before age 19.

CONCLUSIONS

Smoke-free residences may help protect those students who were not regular smokers in high school from smoking in college. However, the difference in smoking rates may be due to self-selection of students into smoke-free residences. Since smoke-free options also protect students from second-hand smoke and dormitory fires, colleges should provide these types of residences for all students who request them, and should also encourage others to choose them.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Harvard School of Public Health, Department of Health and Social Behavior, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA. hwechsle@hsph.harvard.eduNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

11275447

Citation

Wechsler, H, et al. "Cigarette Use By College Students in Smoke-free Housing: Results of a National Study." American Journal of Preventive Medicine, vol. 20, no. 3, 2001, pp. 202-7.
Wechsler H, Lee JE, Rigotti NA. Cigarette use by college students in smoke-free housing: results of a national study. Am J Prev Med. 2001;20(3):202-7.
Wechsler, H., Lee, J. E., & Rigotti, N. A. (2001). Cigarette use by college students in smoke-free housing: results of a national study. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 20(3), pp. 202-7.
Wechsler H, Lee JE, Rigotti NA. Cigarette Use By College Students in Smoke-free Housing: Results of a National Study. Am J Prev Med. 2001;20(3):202-7. PubMed PMID: 11275447.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Cigarette use by college students in smoke-free housing: results of a national study. AU - Wechsler,H, AU - Lee,J E, AU - Rigotti,N A, PY - 2001/3/29/pubmed PY - 2002/1/5/medline PY - 2001/3/29/entrez SP - 202 EP - 7 JF - American journal of preventive medicine JO - Am J Prev Med VL - 20 IS - 3 N2 - BACKGROUND: Cigarette-smoking rates have increased in recent years among college students. Smoke-free residences offer a possible means of reducing or preventing smoking. However, their use has as yet not been evaluated. This paper examines whether students residing in smoke-free residences are less likely to smoke cigarettes than students in other campus residences, and if such lower rates apply to all types of students and colleges. METHODS: The Harvard School of Public Health College Alcohol Study surveyed a nationally representative sample of college students at 128 U.S. 4-year colleges regarding tobacco use and related behaviors in the spring of 1999. The responses of students living in smoke-free and unrestricted residences at 101 campuses were compared. RESULTS: Current smoking prevalence was significantly lower among residents of smoke-free housing (21.0%) as compared with residents of unrestricted housing (30.6%, p<0.0001). The lower rate of current cigarette use was consistent with all types of student and college characteristics with few exceptions. Current cigarette use was significantly lower for those living in smoke-free housing than for residents of unrestricted housing among students who were not regular smokers before age 19 (10% vs 16.9%, p<0.0001), but not among students who smoked regularly before age 19. CONCLUSIONS: Smoke-free residences may help protect those students who were not regular smokers in high school from smoking in college. However, the difference in smoking rates may be due to self-selection of students into smoke-free residences. Since smoke-free options also protect students from second-hand smoke and dormitory fires, colleges should provide these types of residences for all students who request them, and should also encourage others to choose them. SN - 0749-3797 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/11275447/Cigarette_use_by_college_students_in_smoke_free_housing:_results_of_a_national_study_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0749-3797(00)00313-5 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -