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Smoke-Free Policy and Alcohol Use Among Undergraduate College Students


Correspondence to:

Karen M. Butler, R.N., D.N.P., Assistant Professor, College of Nursing, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40536, USA. E-mail:



The purpose of this study was to assess attitudes and behaviors related to smoke-free policy among undergraduate student alcohol drinkers on a campus in a community with smoke-free bars.

Design and Sample

This was a secondary data analysis of a study in which participants completed mailed surveys assessing demographic characteristics, attitudes and behaviors related to alcohol and tobacco use and smoke-free policy (n = 337). Opinion and behavior items were summarized descriptively; associations were examined using Kruskal Wallis tests and chi-square tests of association. Logistic regression tested for predictors of importance of smoke-free policy.


Respondents were predominantly female and Caucasian; mean age 20.3 years. One fourth were current smokers. Seventy-nine percent said the community smoke-free law had no effect on frequency of visiting bars. Eighty-seven percent said smoke-free policy in campus buildings was “somewhat” or “very important.” Predictors of perceived importance of smoke-free policy included gender and smoking status.


Most smokers in this sample did not experience a change in their motivation to quit smoking or in number of cigarettes smoked daily. Implementation of a community smoke-free law did not reduce the likelihood of visiting bars. Women and nonsmokers were more likely to rate smoke-free campus policy as very important.