Learning Objectives: Attendees will be able to describe and evaluate the interventions for reduction of tobacco use in colleges/universities.
PROBLEM/OBJECTIVE: Some interventions have been designed to address the prevalence of smoking in college/university students. The objective of this review is to present a comprehensive summary and evaluation of the studies on such interventions along with some recommendations for future programs and research.
METHODS: Databases were searched for all published studies in English from 1980 through 2001. They were categorized as (a) individual approaches like on-campus cessation programs, and (b) institutional approaches like smoke-free policies. Outcome measures such as level of smoking, quit rates, and changes in behavior and attitudes were examined.
RESULTS: Sixteen relevant studies were identified (10 individual, 6 institutional). Most studies were based on convenience samples targeting mainly 4-year institutions. Five studies used comparison groups and three studies were multi-institutional (one on smokers and two smokeless tobacco users). Individual approaches included educational group sessions or individual counseling, mostly by health care personnel. None used nicotine replacement or other medications for cessation. The quit rates for both smokeless and cigarette users varied, depending on definitions and duration of follow up. Institutional interventions focused mainly on campus smoking restrictions, smoke-free policies, anti-tobacco messages/advertisements and cigarette pricing. Most studies demonstrated positive impact on approval and compliance by non-smokers and smokers, with reductions in the level of tobacco use. DISCUSSION: Available information on interventions for tobacco use reduction in colleges/universities is limited, especially on program planning and evaluation. We need multi-institutional studies that use a combination of individual and institutional approaches, along with standardized measures for outcome evaluation.
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