Who Smokes, Who Does Not, and Why at Miami University

This topic submitted by Codie, Diane, Dustin, Lisa (jonesdi@ureach.com) at 10:44 pm on 12/5/01. Additions were last made on Friday, April 19, 2002. Section: Wagner

Who Smokes, Who Does Not, and Why?
Codie, Diane, Dustin, Lisa

Abstract

This experiment was designed to find whether or not people smoked and if there were correlations among the groups of smokers and non-smokers. Surveys about smoking behavior were conducted to determine if there were any correlations between groups who smoked and did not smoke. The guiding questions of this experiment were "Who smokes, who does not, and why?" By determining which groups were more susceptible to becoming smokers and or becoming addicted to smoking it is hoped that it will become easier to prevent this behavior. It was found that having parents who smoke increases the probability that one will smoke. It was also found that smokers are less active than non-smokers in general and have a lower possibility of considering themselves to be in good physical condition. It was not found that peer pressure was the main reason that people smoke, rather that stress relief is the main reason. It was found, also that males are more likely to smoke than females.
Introduction
The purpose of this experiment was to determine who smoked, who did not, and why they did or did not smoke at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. This study tried to determine at risk groups for smoking. The major question regarding this study was "Who smokes, who does not, and why?" The hypothesis was that there would be multiple factors involved in people's decisions to smoke or not to smoke. It was believed that these factors would include: being non-athletic, having parents who smoke, being pressured by peers, and being male. The null-hypothesis was that one or more of these factors would not appear to influence the decision to smoke or not to smoke.
This question is important because it will help to identify groups who are more susceptible to becoming smokers and/or becoming addicted to smoking. Knowing these factors could help in determining which groups should be targeted by anti-smoking campaigns. This could help prevent members of these groups from becoming smokers and avoid the risks to their health that smoking poses, including cancer, emphysema, arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure, and complications to pregnancy (Satcher 2000).
Relevance
This study was expected to yield information about the smoking habits of men and women on the Western and Main Campuses of Miami University. In conducting this experiment, an attempt was made to uncover any distinctions and/or trends that can be made between groups of smokers. Many previous studies have been conducted in this area. For example, The Journal of Adolescent Health carried an article in 1998 entitled "Smoking Initiation in Youth: The Roles of Gender, Race, Socioeconomics, and Developmental Status." This study found that smoking was more prevalent among white children than among African American children. It also found that boys smoked more than girls (Harrell 1998). Because of this information, it was believed that males at Miami University will smoke more than females.
Harold Janson of the University of Stockholm did a study which compared the number of cigarettes smoked per day of people between the ages of 15 and 36. He found that typical development included smoking intensely, smoking less intensely for some periods, smoking intensely, then quitting before the age of 36 (1999).
Christine Jackson and Lisa Henriksen conducted a study in which they found that children who have parents who smoke, are more likely to smoke themselves (1997), thus it was believed that the study would show people with parents who smoke would be more likely to be smokers themselves.
Materials and Methods
Each group was asked to distribute surveys and then collect completed surveys from both smokers and non-smokers on Western and Main campuses. Each group was responsible for either 167 or 166 surveys, divided as equally as possible between each campus. Each individual within the group was responsible for making sure that his or her surveys were filled out completely and accurately. We suggested that those conducting the surveys watch while the surveys were being completed and collect them immediately upon completion. Simply dropping off surveys and asking people to drop them off when they're done would not have worked.
The materials used were be 200 surveys, 50 for each of the four groups in the class with each survey being one half of an 8.5" by 11" piece of paper. The members of the class were conducting the research by handing out surveys. The completed surveys were used to make calculations concerning correlations. The data sheet was the surveys, completed by survey takers. An organizational grouping of the responses was made to organize the results by group (refer to Results).

Procedure

1.Give survey to subject.

2.Assure subject that you will not attempt to learn the contents of the survey. Turn away and be certain subject does not feel watched or uncomfortable.

3.Tell subject to fill survey out truthfully and completely to the best of their knowledge or opinion.

4.Have subject fold paper in half so that information is not shown.

5.Collect survey from subject.

6.Return completed surveys on the following Tuesday.

Timeline
Tuesday(week of beginning of experiment)
Experiment will be distributed to class and explained.
Surveys will be distributed at this time.
Tuesday(the next week)
Surveys will be returned for analysis.
Tuesday(the following week)
Analysis of data should be complete.
Results:

MAIN CAMPUS SMOKERS
69.4% of Smokers on main campus have at least one parent who smokes. (25/36)
80.6% of Smokers on main campus say that most of their friends smoke. (29/36)
58.3% of Smokers on main campus consider themselves to be in good physical condition.
(21/36)
50% of Smokers on main campus have parents who are married (not separated, divorced, or remarried)
37.8% of smokers on main campus believe most people smoke due to stress; 18.9%, peer; 10.8% family problems; 27%, addiction; 5.4% other
88.8% of smokers on main campus are white/Caucasian. 11.1% are other groups.
55.6% of smokers on main campus are male; 44.4%, female.
The average number of cigarettes per day smoked by main campus students is 8.
Smokers on main campus smoke an average of 8 cigarettes per day.

MAIN CAMPUS NON-SMOKERS
21.4% of Non-Smokers on Main campus have at least one parent who smokes. ( 9/42)
57.1% of Non-Smokers on Main campus say that most of their friends smoke. (24/42)
97.6% of Non-Smokers on Main campus consider themselves to be in good physical condition. (40/41)
66.7% of Non-Smokers on Main campus have parents who are married (not separated, divorced, or remarried) (28/42)
47.6% of Non-Smokers on Main campus believe most people smoke due to stress relief; 38.1%, peer pressure; 26.2%, addiction; 11.9%, family problems; 4.8%, other.
78.6% of Non-Smokers on Main campus are white/Caucasian. 21.4% are other groups.
50% of Non-Smokers on Main campus are Male; 50%, Female.

WESTERN CAMPUS SMOKERS
46.1 % of Smokers on Western campus have at least one parent who smokes. (6/13)
38.5% of Smokers on Western campus say that most of their friends smoke.
66.7% of Smokers on Western campus consider themselves to be in good physical condition. (8/12)
58.3% of Smokers on Western campus have parents who are married (not separated, divorced, or remarried)
33.3% of Smokers on Western campus believe most people smoke due to stress; 26.7%, addiction; 26.7%, peer pressure; 13.3%, other.
84.6% of Smokers on Western campus are white/Caucasian. 15.4% are African American.
30.8% of Smokers on Western campus are male; 69.2%, female.
The average number of cigarettes per day smoked by western campus smokers is 3.89.

WESTERN CAMPUS NON-SMOKERS
18.0% of Non-Smokers on Western campus have at least one parent who smokes. (11/61)
19.7% of Non-Smokers on Western campus say that most of their friends smoke. (12/61)
95.0% of Non-Smokers on Western campus consider themselves to be in good physical condition. (57/60)
77.0% of Non-Smokers on Western campus have parents who are married (not separated, divorced, or remarried)
50.8% of Non-Smokers on Western campus believe most people smoke due to peer pressure; 49.2%, addiction; 29.5%, stress relief; 9.8%, other; 6.6%, family problems.
90.1% of Non-Smokers on Western campus are white/Caucasian. 9.9% are other groups.
73.8% of Non-Smokers on Western campus are Female; 26.2% Male



ACTIVITY LEVELS OF SMOKERS V. NON-SMOKERS BY CAMPUS

Smokers on Western V. Non Smokers on Western
Mean Diff. -.692
DF 12
t-value -.623
P-Value .5451

Smokers on Main v. Non-Smokers on Main
Mean Diff. 2.153
DF 35
t-Value 5.101
P-Value <.0001

The hypothesis that most people smoke due to peer pressure was proved to be incorrect; it was found that most people believe that the main reason for smoking is for stress relief. The hypothesis that smokers are not as active as non-smokers was proved correct for Main campus only with the P-value being less than .0001. The data for Western campus for activity level was inconclusive. Smokers were found to have a lower probability of considering themselves to be in good physical condition. It was also found that smokers have a greater probability of having parents who smoke. The results showed that more smokers than non-smokers have parents who have been separated, divorced, or remarried.
Conclusion
The hypothesis was proved correct in some cases, but the data for Western campus was not conclusive in most cases, simply because Western is a non-representative group. There are many more females than males on Western campus, therefore the number of males who smoke will certainly be less than the number of females who smoke, though it was found that there is a greater percentage of male smokers on Western than male non-smokers.
If this experiment were to be done again, a better system of giving surveys would be necessary. Some of the surveys were not conducted properly by those who were conducting them (the members of the class). Many surveys were not folded when they were returned to be counted. In the instructions, it was made clear that the surveys were to be folded upon their receipt from the survey-takers; this was intended to assure the survey-takers of their privacy and anonymity. Also, it was found that many of the surveys were in the same handwriting, with the same color or pen, and the same exact answers. It cannot be known whether or not these were actually completed by the same people, but it does appear that way. As can be expected with any method of surveying, some of the survey-takers did not answer the questions adequately, or skipped one or more questions all together. These things should all be taken into consideration if this experiment were to be duplicated.


References

Brynin, Malcolm. "Smoking Behaviour: Predisposition or Adaptation?" Journal of Adolescence, 22, 635-646, 1999.

Harrell, Joanne S., et al. "Smoking Initiation in Youth: Roles of Gender, Race, Socioeconomics, and Developmental Status." Journal of Adolescent Health, 23, 5, 271-279, 1998.

Henriksen, Lisa and Christine Jackson. "Do as I Say: Parent Smoking, Antismoking Socialization, and Smoking Onset Among Children." Addictive Behaviors, 22, 1, 107- 114, 1997.

Janson, Harold. "Longitudinal Patterns of Tobacco Smoking from Childhood to Middle Age." Addictive Behaviors, 24, 2, 239-249, 1999.

Khuder, Sadik A., et al. "Age at Smoking Onset and its Effect on Smoking Cessation." Addictive Behaviors, 24, 5, 673-677, 1999.

Satcher, Surgeon General David, "Warning Label Fact Sheet." Reducing Tobacco Use A Report of the Surgeon General. , 2000.


SURVEY

Do you smoke? Yes No
If so, how often do you smoke? (cigarettes per day) _________
How old are you? _________
How long have you smoked? ____________
What class are you in (year of graduation from college)? ___________
Why do you think most people smoke?
peer pressure family problems stress relief addiction other
Rate your activity level (in sports or in general) from 1-10 _____
Are you male or female (circle one)
Are your parents: divorced separated married re-married
Do you consider yourself to be in good physical condition? Yes No
Would you say that the majority of your friends smoke? Yes No
Does either (or both) of your parents smoke? Yes No
Define your ethnic background:____________________________________________________

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