11 Scopus citations


Little is known about the impact of smoke-free legislation on smoking and drinking alcohol among college students. The purpose was to examine whether strength and duration of municipal smoke-free laws are associated with cigarette and alcohol use among college students. Full-time undergraduates from two Southeastern universities participated in mailed (Site A) or electronic (Site B) surveys assessing tobacco and alcohol use and other risk behaviors pre and post comprehensive municipal smoke-free laws (Site A, N = 1,366. Site B, N = 1,404). The first cohort at each site participated prior to a municipal smoke-free law in the community. The second survey was conducted postlaw (Site A, 3.5 years, Site B, 8 months). Past 30-day cigarette and alcohol use and other demographic and personal characteristics were assessed. At Site A, controlling for demographic differences and current alcohol use, the odds of being a current smoker were 32% lower post-law (28% pre-law vs. 19% post-law; odds ratio = 0.68, P = 0.02). At Site B, with demographics and drinking status in the model, the decrease in smoking rate from preto post-law was not significant. At both sites, controlling for demographics and current smoking status, change in the likelihood of drinking was not significant. Comprehensive smoke-free laws in the surrounding community may reduce smoking rates among college students who live, work and recreate there, particularly after the laws are well-established. While alcohol prevalence is very high among college students, enacting smoke-free legislation was not associated with alcohol use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)503-511
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Community Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Study funded by University of Kentucky Office of Student Affairs, Prevention Research Center, Melody Noland, George and Betty Blanton Endowed Professor, College of Nursing, and University of Louisville Campus Health Services.


  • Alcohol use
  • Cigarette smoking
  • College students
  • Smoke-free legislation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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