BLOOMINGTON, Ind., Sept. 17 (UPI) — Smoking bans on U.S. university campuses have caused many students to reduce cigarette consumption or even quit altogether, researchers say.
Dong-Chul Seo, associate professor in Indiana University’s School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, and colleagues compared smoking behaviors — Indiana University Bloomington with a smoking ban and Purdue University with no smoking ban, with numerous demographic similarities.
The study, published in the journal Preventive Medicine, found students smoking at Indiana University dropped by 3.7 percentage points during the study to 12.8 percent, while the smoking rate increased slightly at Purdue to 10.1 percent.
In addition, the study found the number of cigarettes — 5.9 — students reported smoking at Indiana University decreased during the study but increased at Purdue to 6.8.
Seo said he was surprised by the reduced smoking rate at Indiana University because the campus-wide smoke-free air policy was not actively enforced and people could be seen smoking on a regular basis.
“The positive changes may be attributable to increased awareness of the policy due to signage, media coverage, and a campus bus completely wrapped with anti-tobacco messaging,” Seo said.