Implementing a Tobacco-Free Campus Policy: Student Tobacco Attitudes and Behaviors
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Through this research, I set out to examine the effects of a recently-implemented Tobacco-Free Campus Policy on students’ tobacco use attitudes and behaviors. Pooling from Introduction to Psychology courses on campus, I had a sample of 106 participants (87 non-users and 19 tobacco-users). The questionnaire included one of four different commitment writing prompts that served as the priming conditions to determine what effect, if any, they have on student tobacco attitudes and behaviors. Participants were primed for commitment to either the College of Charleston, physical health, or the environment, or participants completed a control condition that did not include a writing prompt prime. The questionnaire also included various other items, such as measures for history of tobacco use, policy awareness, tobacco favorability, likelihood to intervene in the event of a policy violation, and general attitudes towards tobacco. A series of 2 (Tobacco-use Status) X 4 (Commitment Prime) factorial ANOVAs revealed that tobacco-users held significantly more favorable attitudes toward tobacco use than non-users. Further, non-users had significantly more favorable attitudes toward the policy than the tobacco-users; non-users were also more likely to intervene in the event that he/she noticed someone on campus violating the policy than tobacco-users. However, contrary to my initial hypotheses, priming participants for the college commitment resulted in significantly more favorable attitudes toward tobacco use compared to control participants, and the other two primes yielded no significant effect on any of the dependent variables.