South African College Students' Attitudes Regarding Smoke-Free Policies in Public, on Campus, and in Private Spaces | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2155-6105

Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy
Open Access

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Research Article

South African College Students' Attitudes Regarding Smoke-Free Policies in Public, on Campus, and in Private Spaces

S. K. Narula1, C. J. Berg1*, C. Escoffery1and E. Blecher2

1Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Emory University School of Public Health, 1518 Clifton Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA

2International Tobacco Control Research Program, American Cancer Society, 250 Williams St NW, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA

*Corresponding Author:
Carla J. Berg, PhD
Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education
Emory University School of Public Health, 1518 Clifton Road
NE, Room 524, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA
Tel: 404-727-7589
Fax: 404-727- 1369
E-mail: [email protected]

Received October 20, 2011; Accepted December 20, 2011; Published December 24, 2011

Citation: Narula SK, Berg CJ, Escoffery C, Blecher E (2012) South African College Students’ Attitudes Regarding Smoke-Free Policies in Public, on Campus, and in Private Spaces. J Addict Res Ther S1:005. doi:10.4172/2155-6105.S1-005

Copyright: © 2012 Narula SK, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Background: Despite the increase in smoke-free policies globally, there has been limited research regarding reactions to them among young adults. Thus, the objectives of the current study are to examine smoking behaviors and attitudes toward smoke-free policies among South African college students.

Design and Methods: In Summer 2010, University of Cape Town students were recruited for surveys and focus groups through fliers and classroom announcements. Survey assessments included sociodemographics, smoking behaviors, and attitudes toward smoke-free policies. The online survey was completed by 103 college students, and 4 focus groups among 27 college smokers were conducted.

Results: Of 103 survey participants, 41.7% (n=43) were current (past 30-day) smokers. Correlates of current smoking included being male (OR=0.32, p=.020), having more friends that smoke (OR=1.32, p=.031), more frequently consuming alcohol (OR=1.07, p=.060), and having used marijuana in the past 30 days (OR=3.75, p=.029). Participants reported high levels of approval of smoke-free policies in public (93.2%) and on campus (60.2%) and frequently implemented smoke-free policies in their homes (67.0%) and cars (73.8%). Correlates of receptivity to public policies included not living with smokers (p=.020) and being nonsmokers (p=.003). Receptivity to a smoke-free campus was associated with fewer friends who smoke (p=.022), having nonsmoking parents (p=.014), and being nonsmokers (p<.001). Correlates of having a smoke-free home included not using alcohol in the past 30 days (p=.053), having nonsmoking parents (p=.024), and not living with smokers (p<.001). Having a smoke-free car was associated with not recently using alcohol (p=.002), living on campus (p=.037), and being nonsmokers (p=.009). Focus group data indicated that, despite support for smoke-free policies, enforcement of public and campus policies is limited.

Conclusions: Future tobacco control efforts might focus cessation among young adults and enforcement of existing public and campus policies in South Africa.