TitleFive-year changes in support for tobacco control policy options among students, faculty and staff at a public university.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsBraverman, MT, Ceraso, M, Sporrer, F, Rockler, BE
JournalPrev Med
Date Published01/2021


  • Students, faculty and staff at one university were surveyed in 2013 and 2018.
  • Support for smoke-free and tobacco-free campus policies over 5 years was measured.
  • Both students and faculty/staff showed gains in support for both policy options.
  • Tobacco users showed very strong gains in support for tobacco control policies.
  • Results are discussed with respect to social norm change.


Over 2500 U.S. colleges and universities have instituted smoke-free (prohibiting combustible tobacco) or tobacco-free (prohibiting all tobacco) campus policies, and support for such policies by students, faculty and staff is an essential ingredient for successful implementation. Cross-sectional studies have found that these policies are well supported, but longitudinal studies that track change in support over time are rare. The present study reports on two campus-wide web-based surveys conducted five years apart, 2013 and 2018, at a public university campus for which a smoke-free policy was in effect. The 2013 samples included 5691 students (26% response rate) and 2051 faculty and staff (43% response rate); the 2018 samples included 4883 students (21% response rate) and 1882 faculty/staff (37% response rate). Question wordings and procedures were largely consistent across the two surveys. Changes in support among students and faculty/staff for both a smoke-free and a tobacco-free campus were measured, including separate analyses for past-month tobacco users and non-users. Chi-square tests revealed that support for both policy options by all respondent groups (student tobacco users and non-users; faculty/staff tobacco users and non-users) increased significantly and substantially, with the exception of student non-users' support of a smoke-free campus, which was already high in 2013 (83.7% support) and remained relatively unchanged. Increases in support for the tobacco-free option were particularly large. Results are discussed in light of theories of social norm change. These findings provide evidence from one university that tobacco control policies, especially those making a campus fully tobacco-free, increase in popularity over time.

Alternate JournalPrev Med
PubMed ID33309873