Willingness among college students to help a smoker quit

Janet L. Thomas, Tracy A. Gerber, Tabetha A. Brockman, Christi A. Patten, Darrell R. Schroeder, Kenneth P. Offord

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objective: Between February and March 2003, the authors examined college students' willingness to help a smoker quit and assessed demographic and psychosocial characteristics associated with willingness to help. Participants: Survey respondents were 701 college students (474 women, 227 men) aged 18 to 24 years who indicated there was someone close to them whom they thought should quit smoking. Methods: Respondents completed measures of willingness to help. The authors used multivariate logistic regression analysis to examine respondent characteristics associated with willingness to help. Results: About half (54%; n = 381) reported that they "definitely would" be interested in helping this smoker quit. Characteristics significantly associated with willingness to help were lower levels of perceived stress, being a non-tobacco user, concern for a boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse who smoked, and more severe levels of distress caused by this person's smoking. Conclusions: A high percentage of college students are willing to help a smoker. Future studies are needed to engage college students who are nonsmokers in tobacco control efforts, including the Healthy Campus 2010 initiatives to reduce smoking among college students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-280
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of American College Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 1 2008


  • College students
  • Smoking
  • Smoking cessation
  • Social support
  • Tobacco
  • Young adults


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