Attitudes Toward Secondhand Smoke: Research Analysis

Person 1

In 2006, a study of students’ attitudes towards second-hand smoke was carried out to find out the importance of SHS-free environments. This study implemented a cross-sectional design for assessing students’ opinions about second-hand smoke. 1700 students from the university located in a tobacco-producing state have been chosen for the study, and only 57% of students have responded to the questionnaires. The Nation College Health Risk Behavior survey has sent questionnaires to almost 9400 students from 148 different colleges and universities to assess attitudes towards second-hand smoke exposures. Students were given a student’s pack containing a questionnaire, a completion postcard, and a cover letter. Results of this survey have shown that females responded more than males, and the majority of participants were Caucasian. Most of the students have not smoked in 30 days while among those who did only 33% were smoking daily. The survey showed that the majority of participants did not deny the importance of an SHS-free environment, with women yet again showing more interest in it than men. Some smokers appeared to be bothered by cigarette smoke, which manifested in headaches, irritated eyes, and runny nose. However, non-smokers showed more interest in smoke-free environments than smokers. Although the study has provided us with important results about the existing concern of students about SHS, it cannot be treated as the primary source of information as it had various limitations, such as having participants mostly of the Caucasian race and from a state that produces tobacco. The growing number of students expressing their negative attitude towards SHS might convince campuses to include smoke-free policies, which will greatly help to reduce the number of cases of heart diseases and cancer in the US.

Person 2

The purpose of this research was to assess students’ thoughts about second-hand smoke and their attitude towards the introduction of the SHS-free environment. At times when nearly 438000 people in the US die because of smoking, it is very important to study people’s behavior towards smoking, namely the SHS aspect of it. The subjects of this study were students of 18-24 age from a southeastern university. Students received a special pack, which contained a questionnaire, a postcard, and a cover letter. The postcard served as an identifying tool that was sent separately from the questionnaire so that it could not be matched to an anonymous questionnaire (Ridner, Hahn, Staten, & Miller, 2006). After the completion of this survey, it appeared that women were more interested in the survey than men. 91% of the participants were Caucasian, with a mean age of 20.1. Results have shown that only 28% of people were smokers, later divided into daily and non-daily smoking groups. These groups also appeared to drink more than non-smokers. 85% of participants realized the importance of smoke-free environments, with women again being the majority. Although non-smokers were more bothered with SHS, 30% of smokers also reported being bothered by it. The survey showed that people who were more interested in smoke-free environments also appeared to have a healthier lifestyle. However, this study had certain limitations, such as the non-inclusion of parents’ and friends’ smoke behaviors, not mentioning the upcoming enactment of local smoke-free law and a selective choice of participants. One important thing to note is that despite all students being from a tobacco-producing state, where laws regulating tobacco control are significantly weaker, most of them felt that smoke-free environments are a necessity. Perhaps, surveys like these will finally convince the government to introduce the smoke-free public policy, and more lives will be saved.

Person 3

Smoking is one of the main causes of death in the US. The danger of getting cancer or heart disease comes not only from smoking itself but also from the second-hand smoke of a cigarette. To discover people’s attitudes towards SHS, the College Health Survey has gathered opinions of 1700 students from a university located in a tobacco-producing state. The procedure involved sending non-identifying questionnaires regarding the importance of smoke-free environments along with a stamped postcard, which had to be sent separately from the questionnaire. After the procession of all questionnaires, the following results were received: males were less likely to respond compared to females; the majority of participants were Caucasian and single; the mean age was 20.1 years (Ridner et al., 2006). Participants were divided into smoking and non-smoking groups, with the latter comprising the majority. 67% of smokers were non-daily smokers. It has also been discovered that smokers had more episodes of binge drinking and marijuana use compared to the non-smoking group. Naturally, non-smokers were also more interested in the introduction of smoke-free environments, however, 66% of smokers considered it important or somewhat important. Despite the absence of explanation regarding being bothered in the survey, students described it as having headaches, irritated eyes, and a runny nose. The pernicious influence of SHS also bothers students from asthma and other respiratory conditions. It is important to note that students’ positive attitude towards a smoke-free environment can have an impact on the decision of introducing smoke-free policies to campuses, considering that even smokers appeared to value the importance of it. For this to happen, more surveys should be made, as the College Health Survey only covered participants of one race, one class, and from one university.

Person 4

The increasing exposure of youth to second-hand smoke is one of the main concerns in modern society. It can lead to various diseases such as asthma, as well as ear and lower respiratory tract infections (Ridner et al., 2006). Students’ exposure to smoke has vastly increased over the past decade, so the College Health Survey was carried out in 2006 to assess students’ opinions about the necessity of smoke-free policy introduction. During this survey, special student packages were sent to 1700 students of a southeastern university located in a tobacco-producing state. The package included a questionnaire, a podcast, and a cover letter explaining the purpose of this study. Most of the respondents were Caucasian, of an average age of 20.1 years, and single. According to the results, women showed more interest in a smoke-free environment than men. Also, there were more non-smoking people among the participants, comprising 72% of the respondents. The rest 28% of people were considered smokers, with only 33% of them smoking regularly. More interest in the smoke-free environment was shown by non-smoking people, but smokers also deemed it as important, or at least as somewhat important. Surprisingly, 30% of smokers have reported being bothered by SHS. The term “bothered” was not defined in the survey, but reports have shown that having headaches or irritated eyes can be related to it. Considering that tobacco-producing states usually have weaker tobacco control laws, the approbation of the smoke-free law policy by students is an important sign that should be taken into consideration by campuses, as changes in public policy will greatly help to reduce exposure to smoke, thus, saving many lives as a result.


Ridner, S., Hahn, E., Staten, R., Miller, K. (2006). Attitudes toward secondhand smoke among college students. Southern Online Journal of Nursing Research, 7(1), 1-13. Web.

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NursingBird. "Attitudes Toward Secondhand Smoke: Research Analysis." May 9, 2022.