Measuring Compliance With Tobacco-Free Campus Policy by Amanda Fallin – Article Example

Running head: article analysis 2nd June Summary The article Measuring Compliance With Tobacco-Free Campus Policy by Amanda Fallin et al (2012) in the Journal of American College Health focuses at analyzing the implications of smoking in the United States. With more than 450,000 deaths in 2005 due to smoking, the authors indicate that the behavior has become a challenge among the school going youth. While first hand smoking has notable negative effects on the health of the smokers, second hand smoking according to the article is also a major public health threat. For example, individuals exposed to short-term second hand smoking are placed at approximately 80% to 90% on the risk of first hand smoking. On their studies, the authors use the University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center, which implemented a tobacco free campus policy in 2008. With the introduction of free tobacco zones and non-restricted areas such as gutters, medians and sidewalks, the researchers aimed at analyzing the level of compliance by the students. To measure the compliance, the authors indicate that investigators adopt various approaches. For example, Harris and colleagues studies’ covered smoke-free university policy that prohibited smoking within 25 feet from the building.
The major objective of this study is to indicate the feasibility as well as psychometric testing of applying Tobacco-Free Compliance Assessment Tool (TF-CAT) to measure the compliance with the smoking policy that was introduced in the university. This entailed undertaking an investigation of the concurrent validity of the TF-CAT using cigarette butts. The study also focused at describing the feasibility of using TF-CAT. The study used a pilot study that involved newly designed TF-CAT and a phase that included baseline data collection. The sample included was made up of observation periods in secondary locations including steps outside the north entrance and parking lots. Primary locations, which included specific buildings, were also used for data collection. Once the TF-CAT was developed, the study applied cigarette butts as well as observation of smokers as the main indicators of noncompliance. During the first 8 weeks of the study, which made up the phase 1, there was 296 observation periods. This was followed by 117 observational periods during phase 2 Amanda, F et al, (2012). Apart from the crew’s cleaning schedule, the study used other variables such as time of the day, coverage of the area by the smoking policy, temperature, wind speed, precipitation as well as humidity.
One of the major aspect that was applied in the study during data analysis as indicated in the article is the Geographical Information System. This technology was applied to locate the geographical location of the cigarette butts. In addition, SPSS version 17 was used to conduct the statistical analysis to determine whether there was a statistically significant difference in the number of cigarette butts in the region covered by the policy as compared to areas not covered. The validity of the study indicated that on the main campus, there was no statistically difference between cigarette butts found in violation and nonviolation areas. One of the notable limitation of the use of TF-CAT as outlined in the article is that it assumed that cigarette butts were only discarded on the ground. It was possible that some butts were disposed in the trash can and the investigators could not trace them. Additionally, TF-CAT could not provide the data conducive to privacy in addition to being a method that does not involve spitless or smokeless tobacco. The article concludes that even though TF-CAT is a useful tool to monitor compliance, future studies are required to measure its feasibility and efficacy.
Critical analysis
The article Measuring Compliance With Tobacco-Free Campus Policy asked the right question. It is vital to note that once a smoking policy is introduced, some smokers do not comply and thus the need to identify the implications of such policies. As indicated by Anderson JE in the article Public Policymaking, once a policy is introduced in any society, the tendency to act contrary to it is experienced. Even though the article covered the major issues that made it to come up with the conclusion, it failed to indicate the implication of the smoking policy on the emerging of new smokers. The problems found in the article matched the methods since the use of the investigators was effective in attaining the inner and private details from the smokers. Given the use of tables for example the one that indicates cigarette butts in violation versus nonviolation sites, the findings of the article were consistent and used clear format. Even though TF-CAT is effective tool, this article agrees that it has limitation and there is need for future research on its applicability. Additionally, the article indicate that there are other options that can be used to measure compliance and which it did not consider such as patients, visitors and employees. Amanda Fallin et al made clear claims and the convincing data from the observations made them to make a better conclusive. According to my opinion, I agreed with the thesis of the article and the findings since it was done by the use of a significant sample size and scientific procedures as well as SPSS technology. If the research was conducted by involving other options like visitors, perhaps the findings could have been more reliable.
References
Amanda, F et al, (2012). Measuring Compliance With Tobacco-Free Campus Policy. Journal of American College Health, Vol, 60, No. 7.