"In our study, smoking rates were higher at the start of the semester and on weekends," Cronk said. "Targeting smoking prevention efforts immediately after students arrive on campus and throughout the semester in student email messages just prior to the weekend would be the most effective times to reach students."
Partying, work, drinking, fraternity and sorority events, and vacation were among the top cues for recall of past smoking among students in social fraternities and sororities who participated in the study from 2006 to 2008. MU researchers believe their study is the first to examine smoking habits among this population.
Cronk's study is part of a larger research project published in Preventive Medicine. The project focuses on a behavioral intervention approach known as motivational interviewing. In the approach, a clinician interviews a participant to discover what's important to that individual and how a behavior, such as smoking, might fit with that person's goals and values. Opposed to a traditional intervention approach that tells participants how to behave, motivational interviewing elicits motivation from participants to help them decide on their own whether to continue a behavior.
"The key for intervention using that approach is identifying an individual's motivation for smoking," Cronk said. "Helping people understand why they are engaging in a behavior has much more promise for getting that person to address a behavior."
|Contact: Michael Muin|
University of Missouri School of Medicine