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Evaluation of the UC tobacco-free policy implementation

Institution: University of California, San Francisco
Investigator(s): Amanda Fallin, PhD
Award Cycle: 2013 (Cycle 22) Grant #: 22ST-0153 Award: $9,839
Subject Area: Public Health, Public Policy, and Economics
Award Type: Special Projects

Initial Award Abstract
Tobacco smoke exposure can lead to premature morbidity and mortality. Young adults smoke at rates higher than any other age group, and virtually all adult daily smokers began before age 26. As marketing to individuals under age 18 continues to become more difficult for the tobacco companies, they have increased their marketing to young adults. Although young adult smoking prevalence decreased for many years, that progress recently stalled. The United States Department of Health and Human Services announced a new initiative supporting tobacco-free campuses in September 2012. The University of California system went tobacco-free on January 1, 2014. Policy implementation, (actions taken to fulfill the policy directives), is an important but often overlooked part of the policy process, and necessary to achieve optimal outcomes. Results of several studies indicated that compliance with these policies is a major issue. The objectives of this study are to: (1) document and describe the variations in University of California campus comprehensive tobacco-free policy implementation; (2) measure compliance with these policies and determine the implementation strategies that are associated with high policy compliance. The sample for this study will be the 10 UC campuses. The first aim will be addressed through an analysis of the written record (e.g., the policy and preliminary drafts, meeting minutes, and enforcement plans) and public discussion of the policy (e.g., student newspaper articles). This will be followed by campus visits to conduct 15-20 key informant interviews with policy stakeholders. To address the second aim, cigarette butts and smokers will be counted at 10 spots on campus. The effectiveness of the implementation strategies used by each campus will be compared based on the result of this compliance monitoring in order to objectively assess effectiveness of implementation strategies.