Interpersonal, Organizational, and Mediated Messages
Edited By Stuart L. Esrock, Kandi L. Walker and Joy L. Hart
9 Classroom and Client Collaboration: An Effective Tobacco Reduction Campaign Developed by Students for Students Terry L. Rentner
Starting college brings newfound freedoms and temptations. Students must make decisions about personal behaviors, such as smoking and alcohol use, which can have long-term effects on their health (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2005). According to the American College Health Association (ACHA) results from the spring 2011 National College Health Assessment survey (ACHA-NCHA), 32% of U.S. college students aged 18–24 were smokers. This finding should come as little surprise when one considers that in 2005 the tobacco industry spent more than $1 million a day sponsoring events and giveaways targeting college students (American Lung Association, 2008).
Even more alarming are the misperceptions that college students have about their peers’ tobacco use. College students said that 93% of their peers smoke, well above the actual 32% rate (ACHA-NCHA, 2011). These misperceptions go beyond colleges and universities; students think that the majority of people in the United States are smokers (Ohio Tobacco Prevention Foundation, 2006). In Ohio, for example, students perceived that more than one half of Ohioans smoke, whereas the actual rate was 26% (Gallup-Healthways, 2011). Both the high smoking rate and these misperceptions surrounding tobacco use suggest that smoking among college students is a serious problem.
In response to the high rates of tobacco use among college students, the Ohio Tobacco Prevention Foundation (OTPF) teamed with an Ohio-based public relations agency to launch Project U, an intercollegiate competition among students ← 137 | 138 → in public relations classes at Ohio colleges and universities. Creating a...
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