Many college students have smoked for years and want to quit. Others never even smoked but are prone to the same illnesses as the smokers. Recent studies show that there is an intense need for effective smoking cessation programs on campus.
Among all smokers, the prevalence by age is highest among college-age people (ages 18-24). The annual prevalence of tobacco use among all smokers since 1990 has remained virtually unchanged, meaning that other age groups are decreasing tobacco use, while college students are smoking at a greater rate.Tobacco causes disease and premature death in nonsmoking as well as smoking adults. In the United States, secondhand smoke is thought to cause about 46,000 heart disease deaths each year. Of all smokers, one in three will die prematurely from tobacco use.
One step colleges and universities can take to reduce smoking among students is by making campuses smoke-free. Purpose and Scope The goal of this report is to bring awareness to the problem of smoking on campus and to persuade authorities to introduce a smoke-free policy on our campus. The report is designed for Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton campus and not any other locations.Assumptions In order to do this research, I had face to face conversations with 27 randomly chosen students/faculty members at FAU who walked pass me in the breezeway.
I also posted the questionnaire on facebook and myspace where I can reach thousands of FAU students. Limitations The research has limitations because there is not enough time to look at other aspects of this study such as the exact percentage of students who are smokers. Also I could not question every student and faculty member at FAU Boca Raton campus within the given time to do the research.Background to Study Tobacco causes 30% of all cancer deaths. A recent Center for Disease Control study reports that smoking related illness costs the nation more than $157 billion annually. Of all smokers, one in three will die prematurely from tobacco use.
Non-smokers who live on campus are 40% less likely to become smokers if they attend a smoke-free university, but only 27% of colleges prohibit smoking.The relationship of type of residence to smoking status differed according to students’ smoking histories. Among students who were not regular smokers before age 19, current cigarette use was significantly lower for those living in smoke-free housing than for those in unrestricted housing. Among students who had smoked regularly before age 19, there was no difference in current cigarette use by housing type.Of schools with cessation programs, only 31% reported having individualized counseling. Only 25% offer comprehensive programs with counseling, screening and assessment by a physician or health professional. Only 19% offer cessation products approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Cessation programs must be better tailored to students’ needs and marketed more effectively.
Smoking is a Young-Adult Issue More than 1 in 4 young adults smoke; this is the highest smoking prevalence of all age groups. Half of young adults are in school.Experimentation with recreational drugs peaks in mid-adolescence, but the risk period for smoking onset/escalation extends into the early 20s. Smoking is a School Issue Smoking initiation and escalation occurs among college/university students.
Most post-secondary campuses in United States are tobacco-friendly environments. Stress associated with the transition to and experiences of college/university life may magnify the risk of smoking uptake and escalation.ConclusionOverall, 21% of all university students I surveyed reported they currently smoke (7% daily smokers; 14% less than daily smokers). A daily smoker is defined as a person who reports that they currently smoke, even just a puff, and reports that they have smoked every day over the past 30 days. A less than daily smoker is defined as a person who reports currently smoking, even just a puff, and reports that they have smoked either almost everyday, on some days each week, or once or twice altogether over the past 30 days.Quitting smoking is not an easy process for young adults, particularly when they are immersed in a tobacco friendly environment. Research has shown that many students want to quit and have attempted to quit, but most are unsuccessful in stopping smoking on their own.
I asked students who reported that they currently smoked, even just a puff, if they are now seriously thinking of quitting smoking.Highlights of the Research Scientific evidence has firmly established that there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke. Implementing 100% smoke-free environments is the only way to protect the population from its harmful effects.
As many examples around the world now demonstrate, smoke-free laws are the only acceptable public health and human rights approach to ensure full protection.100% Smoke-free laws require that everyone is protected from the hazards of secondhand smoke, in all enclosed workplaces and public places, including all restaurants, bars and other hospitality venues. It means that there are no designated smoking rooms, no exempted premises, and no exempted people.
College campuses should be at the top of the list for the smoke-free laws. FAU Boca Raton campus should be 100% smoke-free campus with absolutely no designated smoking areas: ventilation and smoking areas do not effectively protect people from exposure to secondhand smoke and are not recommended. Support to Help Smokers Transition If the policy takes effect, FAU will provide informational resources throughout the campus. Smoking cessation classes will be offered from January through May on our campuses. These will be offered free of charge to our students, staff and faculty. Additionally, Florida Atlantic University will provide over-the-counter (patches and gum) smoking cessation products for purchase in the FAU pharmacy and FAU Owl Store.The Great American SmokeoutEvery year, on the third Thursday of November, smokers across the nation take part in the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout by smoking less or quitting for the day.
Great American Smokeout is a great way for smokers to prove to themselves that they can quit for a day, in the hopes of quitting for good. The Great American Smokeout campus coordinator can be a member of the college administration, teaching staff, or student body.The coordinator should work with the local American Cancer Society office for training and materials to ensure the most powerful campus event possible. The coordinator should also have time to plan events, recruit volunteers and distribute promotional materials for the event. The key to success is to hold the Great American Smokeout activity in a highly visible, popular place where students cannot miss it.
The breezeway, student union, or cafeteria entrance are ideal locations for Great American Smokeout fun.