EKU Faculty and Staff Scholarship

Author ORCID Identifier

Jason W. Marion ORCID iD iconhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-5177-889X


Environmental Health Science

Document Type


Publication Date



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.


Dissemination support for this award was made possible by a Research Enhancement Grant provided by the EKU Office of Sponsored Programs. A portion of this work led to Alina Strand being accepted as an Outstanding Student Poster for the American Public Health Association's Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug (ATOD) section in 2015.

Journal Title

Preventive Medicine Reports