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Degree Name

MPH (Master of Public Health)

Program

Public Health

Date of Award

5-2001

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Richard Wissell

Committee Members

Joanne Shields, Shirley Morgan

Abstract

According to the American Medical Association (AMA), smoking is the greatest cause of preventable illness and death in the United States. In 1997, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that 29% of college students reported current cigarette use.

The purpose of this study is to assess students' responses toward administering a smoking cessation program at a state university.

This study was conducted at a state university where the researcher surveyed 319 students using a 27-item questionnaire. The survey questions include student demographics; age first smoked; frequency and amount of smoking; places they smoked the most; how soon they smoked after waking up; methods and attempts to quit; and perceptions regarding smoking and their health.

Results from the study found statistically significant associations between smoking and the variables: academic classification and attempts to quit. However, there were no significant associations between smoking and age, gender, ethnicity, and residence. Other findings indicated that more than half of student smokers were female and more than half of student smokers were also in the first three years of college.

Lack of time and cost were the main factors given as preventing smokers from receiving assistance from the university's smoking cessation program. In addition, student smokers reported shortness of breath, bad breath, stained teeth, decreased sense of smell and taste, increased heart rate, and loss of appetite.

Recommendations include assessment, policy development, and assurance. Assessment helps to develop goals and objectives of the smoking cessation program. At the same time, it indicates the strengths and weaknesses of the program. The development of policies must be enforced to reduce or control the number of student smokers, especially in the dormitories. Finally, student smokers willing to receive assistance from the program must be assured that the services provided are free, safe, and efficient.

Document Type

Thesis - Campus Only

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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