Factors associated with opposition to a vape-free campus policy


  • Seok Hyun Gwon University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • Youngjoo Cho Department of Applied Statistics, Konkuk University
  • Linnea Laestadius Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • Yang Wang Peking University Health Science Center
  • Han-Joo Lee Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee




health policy, Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems, cross-sectional studies, tobacco, surveys and questionnaires


Objective. To assess the characteristics of campus populations who were opposed to a vape-free campus policy and examine factors associated with opposition to a vape-free campus policy among those who indicated support for a tobacco-free policy.

Participants. Faculty, staff, and students (N=2210) in a Midwestern university participated. Methods. Individuals were invited to a campus-wide online survey about the tobacco-free policy on campus in spring 2018. Pearson’s χ2, t-test, and binary logistic regression were used for analysis.

Results. Age, gender, current tobacco use, perceived harmfulness of e-cigarettes, and perceived harmfulness of secondhand smoke were significantly associated with opposition to the vape-free campus policy.

Conclusions. Our data highlight the importance of various demographic factors that are associated with opposition to the vape-free policy. The current field needs to use informative approaches to improve knowledge of overall tobacco in health campaigns and public health programs on campus and within community outreach programs.

Author Biographies

Seok Hyun Gwon, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Dr. Gwon’s research focuses on innovative methods to modify and prevent health-risk behavior among adolescents and young adults using a transdisciplinary approach. He is particularly interested in promoting nicotine-free behavior in these emerging age groups by altering cognitive characteristics (e.g., attentional bias). Dr. Gwon also studies the development of the public health workforce to improve population health outcomes with a focus on mediating effects of modified health-risk behavior of the community populations. He places a high value on collaborative and interdisciplinary approaches.

Youngjoo Cho, Department of Applied Statistics, Konkuk University

Youngjoo Cho is an assistant professor in the Department of Applied Statistics in Konkuk University. He received in his Ph.D. in Statistics at The Pennsylvania State University in 2015. His research interest is Survival Analysis, Machine Learning and Causal Inference. He is also interested in application of statistics to medical studies and health sciences research.

Linnea Laestadius, Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Dr. Laestadius’ research focuses on the intersection of public health, technology, and behavior (corporate, institutional, and personal). She is particularly interested in qualitative explorations of the ways in which user-generated content on social media can document and shape public health relevant behaviors, the ethics of novel technologies with privacy and equity implications, and food technology as a potential avenue for the promotion of more sustainable dietary patterns. Dr. Laestadius also has a long-standing interest in tobacco control policy and is currently engaged with research related to e-cigarette content on social media.   

More broadly, Dr. Laestadius’ research and teaching interests include public health advocacy and communication, as well as the policymaking and implementation process. Currently, Dr. Laestadius teaches the core MPH course Principles of Public Health Policy and Administration and an upper level course on policymaking and analysis. 

Han-Joo Lee, Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

My primary research interests are centered in adult psychopathology of anxiety disorders and their related emotional and personality problems with respect to their clinical manifestations, maintenance mechanisms, and potential risk factors (with an emphasis on obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder). Particularly, I am conducting experimental psychopathology studies to investigate the nature of maladaptive cognitive-perceptual information processing (e.g., attentional bias) underlying anxiety problems. Another line of my research interests is the utilization of web-based techniques in psychological assessment and intervention. I have developed several online assessment systems with my colleagues, including an online diagnostic interview system designed to evaluate individuals presenting with a variety of anxiety problems.


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