The attitudes of university students towards different campus tobacco policies
Ergen, Kristen Belcastro
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Tobacco policies are being implemented in universities, as smoking is an important public health problem among university students, due to an increasing prevalence in developing countries. The aim of this study is to compare attitudes of university students towards different tobacco policies. Methods: This study was conducted at two private universities. University A (UA) had 15 smoking areas on campus, while University B (UB) allowed smoking 10 meters away from any campus building. In total, 379(nUA:209, nUB:170) students(F:318; M:61; 20.82±2.89 years) voluntarily participated in this study. Sociodemographic characteristics, health behaviors and attitudes towards tobacco policies were assessed by 5-point Likert type structured questionnaire. Assessment of quality of life and nicotine dependence were done by World Health Organization Quality of Life-BREF(WHOQOL-BREF) and Fagerström Test(FT). Results: The distribution of smokers in UA and UB were respectively 13.9% and 25.3%. 35% of UB and 75% of UA non-smokers never went to smoking areas with smoker friends(p<0.01). Comparing UA and UB, there is statistically significant difference in the exposure time to smoke in non-smokers, respectively 4.01±2.25minutes and 17.72±5.61minutes (p<0.01). Number of cigarettes smoked by smokers was statistically higher in UA(2.34±1.68) than UB(1.11±0.4)(p<0.01). The physical and general health subscales of the WHOQOL-BREF were statistically higher in non-smokers from UA(p<0.05). Conclusion: Stricter restrictions to smoking areas in universities may have positive effects on exposure to cigarette smoke and quality of life in non-smoker students. However, strict restrictions may increase number of cigarettes smoked in smokers.