Campus administrator perceptions of the effectiveness of tobacco-free policies in California universities


  • Harit K. Agroia Department of Public Health and Recreation, San Jose State University, San Jose, California, United States
  • Anna Nelson Department of Public Health, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, California, United States



College administrators, Tobacco control, Tobacco-free policies, Tobacco-free universities, College students, Policy intervention


Background: In response to high levels of tobacco use among university students, the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) systems adopted tobacco-free policies in recent years. While few existing studies capture student response to these policies, there is no research that captures campus administrator perceptions on the effectiveness of these policies. This study was conducted to understand campus administrator perceptions of student compliance to tobacco-free policies in California universities.

Methods: This was a qualitative study to understand campus administrator perceptions of student compliance to the tobacco-free policies on select California universities. Data collection took place between March-May 2018 and included key informant (KI) interviews and a focus group (FG) with campus administrators from selected universities. Content analysis using Atlas.ti software was conducted to interpret results.

Results: Nine campus administrators participated in KI interviews and four further participated in a FG. Overall analysis of the results indicated that all administrators believe tobacco-free policies on their respective campuses are effective in reducing student tobacco use. Additionally, some administrators believed punitive methods were needed, while others felt creation of a cultural norm would be most effective, and all administrators believed smoking cessation programs were helpful resources to ensure policy compliance. Participants further agreed stronger implementation strategies relating to communicating policy provisions are needed to ensure student understanding of policy.

Conclusions: Administrators perceive that tobacco-free policies are effective in reducing tobacco use among university students. It is recommended that additional strategies are utilized to increase student awareness of the policy.


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How to Cite

Agroia, H. K., & Nelson, A. (2022). Campus administrator perceptions of the effectiveness of tobacco-free policies in California universities. International Journal Of Community Medicine And Public Health, 9(3), 1270–1276.



Original Research Articles