With the decline of student smokers since the 90’s and the recent surge in campuses committed to eradicating cigarette smoke from their airspace, the Collegiate Times wanted to investigate the policies, opinions and programs surrounding smoking on Virginia Tech’s campus.
College students seem to be in a different category than the rest of the population when it comes to smoking tobacco products in the United States. A study by Harvard’s School of Public Health in August shows that approximately one third of college students across the country smoke.
According to a study from the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, 51 percent of students who smoke consider themselves “social smokers,” meaning that they smoke almost exclusively in the company of others. The study noted that this indicates college smokers (in terms of their current habits) are less likely to be addicted to nicotine, less likely to want to change their current ways and have a lower frequency and intensity of usage.
This social smoking label also has been correlated to students who have a higher likelihood to be binge drinkers, and has a much higher association with partying. However, students on college campuses perceive there to be a higher percentage of student smokers than there actually are.
A study conducted by the University of Washington showed that students thought just over 94% of their campus used tobacco, when in reality only about 35% actually did.