Health  Vol.9 No.3 , March 2017
Predictors of Daily and Occasional Smoking and Quitting in Irish University Students
Abstract: Knowledge of student smoking behaviors and attitudes was sought to inform a proposal to implement a smoke-free university campus. This study assessed prevalence of student smoking and quitting behaviors and associated demographic, contextual and attitudinal factors. A cross-sectional design using a convenience sample on a single university site was utilized. Data were collected by anonymous self-administered questionnaires and analyzed using bivariate and multivariable logistic models comparing smokers and non-smokers (Model 1) and daily with occasional smokers Model 2. Of 739 respondents, 19% of students smoked; 12% occasional (non-daily) and 7% daily smokers. Smokers were more likely to be ≥22 years and to allow smoking inside their accommodation (Model 1). They were less likely to agree that tobacco was addictive and to consider those who smoked at parties and weekends to be regular smokers. In Model 2, daily smokers were older and nine times more likely to report increased difficulty in handling stress if they quit smoking. Forty-four percent of all smokers had attempted to quit in the past year, 35% of smokers intended to quit in the next 30 days and 53% in the next six months. Forty percent did not use quitting supports. Occasional rather than daily smoking was more prevalent in university students. Smokers differed from non-smokers in their perception of smoking-related health risks. Increasing age was the best predictor of regular and occasional smoking. Intentions to quit smoking and quit attempts were high among all smokers although use of on-site cessation supports was less than the optimal. These combined factors indicate a need for better targeting of our prevention strategies and the need to promote greater awareness of cessation supports for successful implementation of a smoke-free campus.
Cite this paper: McKee, G. , Barry, J. , Mullin, M. , Allwright, S. and Hayes, C. (2017) Predictors of Daily and Occasional Smoking and Quitting in Irish University Students. Health, 9, 435-450. doi: 10.4236/health.2017.93031.

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