Social influences on sorority and fraternity member smoking

Marshall K. Cheney, Sarah Maness, J. Kathleen Huber, Taylor Burt, Landon Eggleston, Bryce Naberhaus, Brooklyn Nichols

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective: To understand how the Greek system uniquely influences smoking attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors among college students who belong to a social sorority or fraternity. Participants: Active members of sororities (n = 16) and fraternities (n = 17) were interviewed between February 2013 and October 2015. Methods: In-depth interviews were conducted examining the social influences of the Greek system on member smoking. Transcribed interviews were coded and analyzed for themes. Results: Sorority and fraternity members experienced different social influences on smoking. Sorority stigmatization of smoking outside bars or parties caused sorority members to hide their smoking. Fraternity members had no social penalties for smoking and allowed smoking at the fraternity house. Fraternity members influenced both fraternity members and sorority members to smoke by sharing cigarettes and smoking at parties. Conclusions: Sororities and fraternities have created social environments that both promote smoking and stigmatize it, presenting unique challenges in college student smoking prevention and cessation efforts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)525-533
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of American College Health
Issue number8
StatePublished - 17 Nov 2017


  • College
  • fraternity
  • smoking
  • sorority
  • tobacco


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