Date of Graduation

5-2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Health Science (PhD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Health, Human Performance and Recreation

Advisor

Ches Jones

Committee Member

Dean Gorman

Second Committee Member

Ed Mink

Third Committee Member

Anthony Parish

Abstract

This dissertation examines the impact certain healthy lifestyle choices had on smoking behavior among college students who smoke cigarettes. Even with continued reduction in prevalence, cigarette smoking is still the leading cause of preventable death in America. With that in mind, it is important to continue to identify factors that relate to decreased tobacco usage. Secondary data from the American College Health Association's bi-yearly National College Health Assessment was used for this study. This assessment/survey encompasses college students' habits, behaviors, and perceptions regarding prevalent health topics. The sample for this study consisted of 14,515 college students who identified themselves as having smoked within the last 30 days. Fruit and vegetable intake per day, days per week of vigorous exercise, Body Mass Index, and exercisers trying to lose weight were the healthy lifestyle choices this study related to smoking behavior. It was found that 1) college students who ate zero fruits and vegetables per day were likely to smoke 2.31 more days per month than those who ate five or more per day, 2) for every day per week a smoker partook in vigorous exercise, they smoked 0.76 days fewer per month, 3) for every one unit increase in participants Body Mass Index, an increase of 0.06 in days smoked per month can be expected, 4) College students who are not currently exercising to lose weight smoke 2.11 more days per month than those students who are currently exercising to lose weight. Overall, the majority of healthy lifestyle choices considered in this study significantly impacted the amount of days per month a college smoker, smoked cigarettes.

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