Researchers from IU’s School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation compared IU, which enacted its ban in 2008, with Purdue, a campus with no ban.
Associate Professor Dong-Chul Seo says fewer people now smoke at IU, while the number of smokers at Purdue increased slightly over the same period.
“When we started the study in fall 2007, the smoking rates at IU were 16.5 percent, that was reduced to 12.8 percent in fall 2009, that was a big change, whereas the smoking rates for Purdue was 9.5 percent in 2007, and it actually increased to 10.2 percent in 2009. So, there was a significant decline while at Purdue, there was a slight increase,” Seo said.
According to the study, the numbers declined at IU even though the smoking ban is not enforced. Seo says IU relies on peer pressure to encourage smokers not to light up.
“As long as you are aware of the policy, and you have reasonable common sense, it would not be that comfortable if you violate the policy. So, that kind of a factor might have contributed to the decline of smoking rates within the past two years.”
IU’s smoking ban prohibits smoking on all the university campuses and in university owned vehicles.