Professor explores views on tobacco use
If you only smoke occasionally, does that make you a smoker? Surprisingly, new research by Associate Professor of Psychology Michael Berg reveals that many college students who may light up at parties or indulge in a cigarette or two on weekends do not consider themselves smokers.
Berg, coordinator of the Public Health Program at Wheaton, has been working with his wife, Linda Lin, a professor and chair of psychology at Emmanuel College, to look at issues of identity in tobacco using attitudes and behavior. Their research is shedding new light on an evolving student-health issue and may help build understanding on college campuses across the country.
They became interested in collaborating on the project to better understand what Berg calls “non-identified smokers” two years ago, when Emmanuel initiated a campuswide smoking ban, resulting in many conversations among students, faculty and staff about related health issues.
While tobacco use has steadily declined in the United States over the past decade, many American college students continue to smoke on a limited but regular basis. Young adults aged 18–25 have the highest rate of tobacco use of any age group in the U.S., with the majority smoking only intermittently. [Read more...]