Master's Culminating Experience
Tobacco use is responsible for a multitude of preventable deaths each year in the United States. Smoking is the most common form of tobacco use and tends to begin during the adolescent years, thereby resulting in a prolonged lifetime exposure to the harmful effects of tobacco. Smoking behavior among students has been shown to be influenced by school tobacco policies, thus the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) recommends all school campuses adopt a 100% tobacco-free policy. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship between school district tobacco policies and student smoking rates. Survey responses from students in the 10th grade were obtained from the 2012 Dayton Area Drug Survey (DADS) and compared to tobacco control policies of the school districts in Montgomery County, Ohio. Seven school districts met the criteria for inclusion in the analysis. Self-reported prevalence of smoking among adolescents participating in the 2012 DADS was 7.0%, while the proportion of students who reported never smoking was 74.4%. When compared to a school with a more strict tobacco policy, students attending a less strict school were more likely to have a history of smoking (OR = 2.01) and more likely to have initiated smoking prior to the 10th grade (OR = 1.39). Tobacco use among adolescents remains a significant public health issue in Montgomery County, Ohio. There does appear to be value in following the ODH recommendations for a 100% tobacco-free campus.
Ikede, A. E. (2013). The Relationship between School District Tobacco Policy and Smoking Rates of 10th Grade Students in Montgomery County, Ohio. Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio.