Knowing and using the data about tobacco use on your college campus or in Vermont can be a great way to help your stakeholders understand the need for improving the campus tobacco use policy.
Starting in 2013, the Vermont Department of Health (VDH) worked with colleges and universities to develop a biannual statewide health survey plan for young adults enrolled in institutes of learning in our state. The College Health Survey was administered for the first time in the spring of 2014. This survey measures the prevalence of specific health behaviors including the use of alcohol, tobacco, other drugs, sexual health, violence, nutrition, exercise, perceptions of the campus climate, and general well-being. In 2016, the CHS was expanded to include an optional sexual violence module.
The survey was most recently administered in 2016 to nine schools in Vermont. The majority of students who participated were female (70%), full-time students (83%) from Vermont (65%). About half lived on campus (49%) and were between 18 and 20 years of age (47%). Nearly all (92%) said their typical grades were either A’s or B’s.
This survey data can be very useful in helping to understand the tobacco use behaviors of young adults in college in our state. Cigarettes still remain the most often used tobacco product among Vermont college students. More than a third (36%) of students have ever used cigarettes and 15% used them in the last 30 days. Slightly fewer, 35% of students reported ever using cigars, however, very few (5%) used cigars in the last month. E-vapor products were asked about for the first time as part of the 2016 College Health Survey. Three in ten students said they have ever used e-vapor products, and seven percent have used them in the last month. For the full 2015 College Health Survey results go to the Vermont Department of Health website here.