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Keywords:

  • compliance;
  • policy;
  • tobacco-free;
  • campus;
  • university;
  • college

Abstract

One in five college students report tobacco use, thus universities are making strides to reduce tobacco use by adopting smoke- or tobacco-free policies. The purpose of this article is to describe an innovative ambassador program to increase adherence with a tobacco-free campus policy. The Tobacco-Free Take Action! (TFTA!) Ambassador program was created to form an environment of compliance. Hot spots were targeted by Ambassadors, who were trained to use scripted messages. Ambassadors completed an online documentation form to assess the number of violators observed and approached. The Tobacco-Free Compliance Assessment Tool (TF-CAT) was used to collect pre- and post-cigarette butt data at each hot spot. During the 4-week intervention period, Ambassadors approached 332 violators (529 observed), of which 68 percent responded positively and complied with the policy. The number of cigarette butts declined by 25 percent. Adherence with campus tobacco-free policies remains a challenge. Lessons learned from this innovative approach will benefit those currently implementing and planning tobacco-free campus policies.