Exploring Support for 100% College Tobacco-Free Policies and Tobacco-Free Campuses Among College Tobacco Users

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Background: Tobacco-free campus policy is identified as an effective means to address tobacco use on college campuses; however, the prevalence of tobacco-free policies (TFPs) in the United States remains low. This study explores college tobacco users' support for a university's TFP and tobacco-free campuses (TFCs) in general. Methods: A standardized and structured questionnaire was administered to 790 college tobacco users recruited in a university located in a tobacco-growing region of the United States, during April-May 2011, to collect information on support for TFPs and TFCs and sociodemographic-political characteristics. Descriptive and multivariable logistic regression analyses were conducted to identify key factors associated with support for TFPs and TFCs. Results: Approximately 2 of 5 tobacco users favored TFPs and TFCs. Multivariable logistic regression models showed that demographic factors were mostly not significantly associated with attitudes of the college tobacco users. Instead, while knowledge about harmful effects of exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke significantly increased support for both TFPs and TFCs, parental and peer smoking and exposure to tobacco industry promotions significantly decreased the likelihoods of support compared with respective referent groups. Conclusion: Study findings suggest that campus advocacy and education campaigns for campus tobacco policies to pay attention to tobacco use behavior of familial relations, tobacco industry activities, and other political determinants of tobacco users' attitudes. Thus, this study should inform national initiatives to promote TFPs nationwide such as the Tobacco-Free College Campus Initiative.