The purpose of this project was to assess first semester freshman college students’ opinions about smoking, secondhand smoke exposure, and smoking behaviors on a smoke-free campus. This research used an online cross-sectional survey. For two years, surveys were emailed via Zoomerang to all first semester freshmen students at Valparaiso University. Survey questions contained 60 forced-choice or open-ended options. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. A total of 630 students responded. Subjects were primarily female (58.4%) and Caucasian (84.9%). Twenty-five percent of the respondents reported being exposed to secondhand smoke in their environments. Twenty-nine percent were unaware that the campus is a smoke-free environment, 79% have seen smoking on campus, and 25% believed the smoke-free policy is not enforced. Seventy-seven percent of the respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the campus should be a smoke-free environment. Thirty-four percent of respondents admitted to smoking at some point in their lifetime. Fourteen percent (n=91) indicated that they had smoked during the previous 30 days, with only 28% of these identifying themselves as “current” smokers. The majority of the respondents supported a smoke-free environment and believed the current campus policy is enforced. Data from this study will add to the growing body of evidence about college students’ smoking behaviors.
Matejczyk, Nathan; Tu, Nina; De Young, Michelle; and Arena, Nicole, "Opinions about Smoking, Secondhand Smoke Exposure, and Smoking Behaviors of Freshmen College Students" (2013). Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE). 263.