Characteristics associated with self-identification as a regular smoker and desire to quit among college students who smoke cigarettes.Nicotine Tob Res 2008; 10(1):69-76NT
Tobacco use among college students increased substantially during the 1990s. Better understanding of college smokers is warranted to develop interventions specific to the needs of this population. We examined sociodemographic and tobacco-use characteristics associated with self-identification as a regular smoker and intentions to quit smoking among college students who smoke cigarettes. We conducted logistic regression analysis on baseline survey data from the Campus Health Action on Tobacco study, a 4-year group-randomized trial at 30 four-year colleges in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Students who self-identified as a regular smoker smoked more cigarettes before starting college, smoked a greater number of cigarettes the prior 30 days, smoked more cigarettes per day, and were more likely to smoke within 30 min of waking up, compared with students who were current smokers but did not consider themselves regular smokers. Females, older students, and those who had decreased the amount they smoked since coming to college were more likely to want to quit "very much." Females and students in early college years were more likely to be planning to quit before graduation, as were students who had decreased the amount they smoked since coming to college. Interventions should target students who are in their early college years, given that habits prior to college, changes in smoking habits while in college, and year in college are associated with students' self-identification as a regular smoker, desire to quit smoking, or plan to quit smoking while in college.