Marion, Jason W.; Strand, Alina; and Baldridge, Elliott, "Changes in Student Behaviors and Policy Opinion Regarding E-Cigarettes at a Kentucky University from 2014 to 2018" (2021). EKU Faculty and Staff Scholarship. 479.
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The behaviors and opinions regarding e-cigarette use and campus policies prohibiting vaping vary greatly among college students nationally. Kentucky is one of the four U.S. states with the highest tobacco use prevalence, and characterizing e-cigarette use, trends and policy opinions among Kentucky undergraduates may inform interventions. To characterize population-level differences in e-cigarette-related behaviors and policy opinions among undergraduates from 2014 to 2018, results from two cross-sectional surveys (2014 and 2018) from a public regional university in south-central Kentucky were analyzed. Students from randomly selected undergraduate general studies courses completed a 5-minute in-class survey. Data were obtained from 514 and 519 respondents in 2014 and 2018, respectively. Mean age did not differ (19.9 and 20.1 years; p = 0.41) nor did class rank (p = 0.30) by survey year. Chi-square analysis indicated previous 30-day e-cigarette use was higher in 2018 than 2014 (28% vs. 18%; p < 0.001), and current cigarette use was lower in 2018 than 2014 (13% vs. 25%; p < 0.001). When current smoking and recent e-cigarette use were combined as a use variable, there was no significant difference between 2018 (29%) and 2014 (30%). Fraternity/sorority affiliation, being under 22 years old, male gender, out-of-state residency, and having a smoking parent were associated with recent e-cigarette use in multivariable logit models. Support for the on-campus vaping prohibition was lower among 2018 respondents (68% approval) compared to 2014 respondents (74% approval), respectively (p = 0.022). Overall, these findings may inform policy, population-specific health communications, and future research.
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