Journal of Community Health

, Volume 38, Issue 6, pp 1081–1089 | Cite as

Analyzing Exposure, Use, and Policies Related to Tobacco Use on Campus for the Development of Comprehensive Tobacco Policies at Canadian Post-secondary Institutions

  • Lauren E. Wallar
  • Sarah Croteau
  • Amy Estill
  • Liz Robson
  • Andrew PapadopoulosEmail author
Original Paper


Canadians in their early twenties represent the highest prevalence of reported tobacco use among all age groups. With the majority of Canadian young adults accessing post-secondary education, post-secondary institutions can facilitate targeting of health promotion efforts to curb tobacco use among young adults. Effective targeting requires clear comprehensive campus tobacco policies. However, the development and implementation of comprehensive campus tobacco policies has been lacking among Canadian post-secondary institutions. As the first step towards the development of a comprehensive campus tobacco policy at the University of Guelph, an on-line survey of students, faculty and staff was conducted in November 2012. The objectives of this survey were two-fold: (1) Determine the current level of exposure to second-hand smoke on campus, the type and frequency of tobacco use, opinions on seven different tobacco policy options, and the level of awareness of current tobacco policies and programs and; (2) Determine if any associations between opinions on tobacco policy options and exposure to second-hand smoke and tobacco use existed. The results of this survey demonstrate that tobacco use is associated with opinions on tobacco policy options and that the level of awareness of tobacco policies and programs is relatively low and is not associated with tobacco use. This study represents one of the first studies to examine the association between tobacco use and support of policy options and awareness of tobacco policies and programs. As other post-secondary institutions develop comprehensive tobacco policies, these findings will serve as a comparison for other similar institutions.


Tobacco policy University Survey Policy awareness 



This research has been funded by Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health and funding awarded to Dr. Andrew Papadopoulos from the Department of Population Medicine.


  1. 1.
    Beck, P. (2008). Smoke-free policies at colleges and universities. Non-Smokers’ Rights Association. Available at
  2. 2.
    Hammond, D., Costello, M., Fong, G. T., & Topham, J. (2006). Exposure to tobacco marketing and support for tobacco control policies. American Journal of Health Behaviour, 30, 700–709.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hammond, D. (2005). Smoking behaviour among young adults: Beyond youth prevention. Tobacco Control, 14, 181–185.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Hammond, D., Tremblay, I., Chaiton, M., Lessard, E., Callard, C., & Tobacco on Campus Workgroup. (2005). Tobacco on campus: Industry marketing and tobacco control policy among post-secondary institutions in Canada. Tobacco Control, 14, 136–140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Finnie, R., Childs, S., & Wismer, A. (2011). Access to post-secondary education among under-represented and minority groups: Measuring the gaps, assessing the causes. Toronto, ON: Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Adlaf, E. M., Gliksman, L., Demers, A., et al. (2003). Cigarette use among Canadian undergraduates. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 94, 22–24.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Cairney, J., & Lawrance, K. (2002). Smoking on campus: An examination of smoking behaviours among post-secondary students in Canada. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 93, 313–316.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Dupuis, S. (2007). The impact of tobacco control policies on university students’ smoking in Ontario. (MSc dissertation). Available at
  9. 9.
  10. 10.
    Baillie, L., Callaghan, D., Smith, M., et al. (2009). A review of undergraduate university tobacco control policy process in Canada. Health Education Research, 24, 922–929.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Procter-Scherdtel, A., & Collins, D. (2012). Social norms and smoking bans on campus: Interactions in the Canadian university context. Health Education Research, 28, 101–112.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Canadian Cancer Society. (2012). Canadian Universities and Colleges Smoke-Free Policies. [Tobacco policy]. Unpublished raw data.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Baillie, L., Callaghan, D., & Smith, M. L. (2011). Canadian campus smoking policies: Investigating the gap between intent and outcome from a student perspective. Journal of American College Health, 59, 260–265.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Feddersen, M., & Budgen, C. (2009). Smoking: Phase III results. Available at
  15. 15.
    Schwartz, R., O’Connor, S., Minian, N., et al. (2010). Evidence to inform smoking cessation policymaking in Ontario: A special report by the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit. Toronto, ON: Ontario Tobacco Research Unit.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Baillie, L. E., Lovato, C. Y., Taylor, E., Rutherford, M. B., & Smith, M. (2008). The pit and the pendulum: The impact on teen smokers of including a designated smoking area in school tobacco control policy. Health Education Research, 23, 1008–1015.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lauren E. Wallar
    • 3
  • Sarah Croteau
    • 1
  • Amy Estill
    • 2
  • Liz Robson
    • 4
  • Andrew Papadopoulos
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Health ProtectionWellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public HealthGuelphCanada
  2. 2.Community Health and WellnessWellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public HealthGuelphCanada
  3. 3.Ontario Veterinary CollegeUniversity of GuelphGuelphCanada
  4. 4.Family Health and Health AnalyticsWellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public HealthGuelphCanada

Personalised recommendations