Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Health, Physical Education, and Recreation

Department name when degree awarded

Physical Education

Committee Chair(s)

Dale O. Nelson


Dale O. Nelson


David Stone


Janice Pearce


Student understanding and use of alcohol and tobacco at Utah State University was studied under the following areas: specific knowledge as it relates to smoking and health and drinking and health, student opinions and attitudes toward smoking and drinking, smoking and drinking experiences, the influence of certain factors on smoking and drinking status, and source and credibility of tobacco and alcohol information.

Thirteen hundred seventy-eight students were sampled with the use of a questionnaire. It included 567 freshmen, 274 sophomores, 345 juniors, and 192 seniors. The sample covered each of the eight colleges at the University.

It was found that the boys were better informed about tobacco and alcohol than the girls; however, student knowledge about the effects of tobacco and alcohol is very low. Most of the students were of the opinion that smoking and drinking are not worth the risk a person takes in terms of health. A large majority do not want their children to use tobacco or alcohol. Thirteen per cent of the students are regular smokers (smoke at least once a week), and 17 per cent drink regularly. Acceptance by their social group had the greatest influence on why students were smoking and drinking, Health implications, religious training, and parents' objections were the factors influencing those who did not use tobacco and alcohol.

The majority of the students indicated they received most of their information about tobacco and alcohol from health classes, from religious sources of information, and from parents or members of their family, in that order.