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ERIC Number: EJ1146775
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1052-5505
Strengthening Traditions and Embracing a Commercial Tobacco-Free Campus
Bosma, Linda M.; Hanson, Matt
Tribal College Journal of American Indian Higher Education, v28 n3 Spr 2017
Leech Lake Tribal College (LLTC) officially implemented its commercial tobacco-free campus policy at the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year, prohibiting commercial tobacco use anywhere on campus while supporting and encouraging sacred uses of tobacco. LLTC worked on its policy formation for several years; college leaders made the decision to educate and cultivate the effort on campus a full year prior to implementation. This decision, along with the innovative provisions within the policy, was instrumental to the initiative's success. To inform the implementation process and assess the impact of the policy, LLTC contracted with an external evaluator to undertake an evaluation of its policy work. The evaluation consisted of a pre- and post-survey administered to students, faculty, and staff to assess support for the policy and their knowledge of the harmful effects of commercial tobacco, tobacco industry tactics, and traditional tobacco. It also consisted of qualitative interviews with purposive samples of students, faculty, and staff before and after policy implementation. Evaluation work was further informed by evaluator site visits to campus. The evaluator met with Mino-ayaawigamig staff and key stakeholders, and reviewed related documents, reports, and promotional materials. The student survey was conducted in person by the evaluator on campus in December 2013 (n=126) prior to policy implementation and again in December 2014 (n=92) after the policy was in place. The percentage of students who completed surveys out of the total number of registered students was 61.2% in 2013 and 54.4% in 2014, while 78% of faculty/staff (n=40) completed surveys in 2013, and 77% (n=43) completed surveys in 2014. The percentage of student respondents who reported smoking commercial tobacco decreased from 48.4% (n=61) in 2013 to 41.3% (n=38) in 2014. Among staff/faculty, the percentage of smokers increased slightly from 15.4% (n=6) in 2013 to 18.6% (n=8) in 2014. The percentage of student smokers who have attempted to quit increased from 71.6% in 2013 to 79% in 2014. For faculty/staff smokers, 100% reported quit attempts in both years. Support for the new, commercial tobacco-free campus policy was high among students (82.6%) and faculty/staff (83.7%). The LLTC experience suggests that when deciding to implement a commercial tobacco-free policy, tribal colleges may benefit from leading those efforts from within, and allowing sufficient time before enactment to educate the campus community on commercial tobacco harms, prepare campus members for the upcoming ban, connect the ban to improved health, and include an emphasis on encouraging traditional tobacco heritage and observances to distinguish between commercial tobacco and sacred medicine/"asemaa."
Tribal College Journal of American Indian Higher Education. P.O. Box 720, Mancos, CO 81328. Tel: 888-899-6693; Fax: 970-533-9145; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A