Who is LTPB For?
On most college and university campuses, the absence of smoking prohibitions, combined with the presence of intense tobacco advertising and supportive social influences, provide a favourable backdrop for smoking. Furthermore, the insular nature of campus life and the mobility of the student population make it difficult to reach students with typical community-based tobacco control programs and services. However, with increasing numbers of post-secondary students smoking cigarettes, the need for accessible student-focused programming, promoted through campus-specific communication channels, is apparent. LTPB addresses these needs in such a way that the following target audiences benefit.
The primary audience for LTPB is post-secondary students who are at risk of initiating smoking or who already smoke. LTPB assists regular smokers to reduce their smoking or quit all together, ex-smokers and non-smokers to stay smoke free, and occasional smokers to avoid becoming regular smokers.
Campus Health Professionals
A secondary audience includes the health care professionals who take care of students’ health and well-being while they attend school. These individuals – many of whom have practices off campus – are reached by LTPB through OMA-accredited training sessions. Providing this education in Clinical Tobacco Intervention helps establish brief smoking interventions in campus clinics and that students (as well as other ‘off-campus’ patients) are advised and assisted to quit smoking. The health care professionals also benefit by expanding their professional development and continuing medical education.
Informing administrators of the value of tobacco control policies assists them to become advocates for smoke-free campuses. A recent US study concluded that only 40% of post-secondary institutions had tobacco control programs, services and polices, but most administrators felt more should be done in these areas. LTPB provides education and support to administrators, and actively endorses tobacco-related policy decisions. Thus, the peer-led services available through LTPB gain tangible support from a variety of campus offices and services.
The final target audience for LTPB is the peer teams. These students come from a wide range of disciplines: psychology, education, business, drama, nursing, humanities, biology, computer sciences, health studies, math, and so on. These members of LTPB peer-teams receive extensive training around tobacco policies, smoking cessation, industry strategies, cessation counselling, and tobacco control advocacy. In this way, they become our future tobacco control researchers, journalists, health professionals and advocates. For them, LTPB provides an abundance of opportunities to expand their knowledge and skills in areas related to tobacco control, social marketing, health communication, brief counselling, online technologies, health research, report writing and public speaking, etc.