Attitudes and Practices about Tobacco Smoking at a Jesuit University: Cura personalis or Individual Rights?
Purpose: This study examined opinions about tobacco use on campus from the perspectives of students and faculty on a Jesuit university, Regis University, in Denver, Colorado. Participants: Students, Faculty and Staff of Regis University were invited to participate in a survey during the fall of 2014. Method: An exploratory descriptive survey methodology using Chi-square statistics for bivariate comparisons and qualitative content analyses were utilized for this study. Results: The survey had a 27% response rate. Undergraduates comprised 56% of the sample, with 27% graduate students, and 17% faculty/staff. Eighty-eight percent of respondents reported that the presence of second hand smoke (SHS) on campus bothered them as did 83% of not current smokers. Nineteen percent of current smokers reported that walking through smoke is disagreeable. Comments from respondents revealed support for as well as against a smoking ban on campus. Conclusions: The majority of respondents support a complete ban on tobacco smoking on campus, and compared to a 2009 survey of Regis University faculty, staff, and student, support for a complete ban on smoking on campus has increased, while the rate of current daily smoking has decreased on campus. However, there is clearly tension between the concept of cura personalis and the belief in freedom and individual rights among the respondents on this campus.