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Social Smoking within College Drinking Environments

Institution: San Diego State University Research Foundation
Investigator(s): Mark Reed, Ph.D.
Award Cycle: 2006 (Cycle 15) Grant #: 15IT-0027 Award: $141,114
Subject Area: Epidemiology
Award Type: Inno Dev & Exp Awards (IDEAS)

Initial Award Abstract
Almost 1 in 8 college students initiate smoking while in college (Everett and Huston, 1999; Wechsler et al., 1998; Wetter, et al., 2004) and nearly 15% transition from non-daily to a daily smoking (Wetter et al., 2004). In a recent study of college students, 86.4% of occasional smokers reported a smoking episode while drinking alcohol (McKee et al., 2004). While a relationship between smoking and drinking among daily smokers is generally established, there have been fewer studies investigating this relationship among non-daily smokers or experimenters (individuals who have smoked fewer than 100 cigarettes in a lifetime). Of great concern is the fact that many non-daily smokers may progress to daily smoking. While the association of social smoking in drinking situations is clear, there has been little theoretical work on the mechanisms behind this association. Generally, research focusing on young smokers has focused on the co-morbidity of alcohol and tobacco use, and not on their proximal, concurrent use. A theoretical model that includes social, personal and environmental factors believed to be instrumental in facilitating social smoking in drinking contexts for college students is proposed. We are proposing two surveys to test this theoretical model. One survey will be an innovative late-night field survey that will sample whole groups of students around locations where drinking and smoking are occurring (i.e., bars, off-campus parties, on-campus). The other will be a random, internet-based survey of students attending a large, public university in Southern California. The results of these surveys will hopefully lead to the development of programs or activities designed to inhibit progression to daily smoking in this population of social smokers.