Prevalence and predictors of smoke-free policy implementation and support among owners and managers of multiunit housing.Nicotine Tob Res. 2010 Feb; 12(2):159-63.NT
Exposure to secondhand smoke causes disease and premature death. Although many municipalities have instituted policies prohibiting smoking in public areas, personal living areas remain largely unregulated. Individuals who reside in multiunit housing (MUH) facilities where smoking is permitted are particularly susceptible to involuntary exposure. This study assessed the prevalence and predictors of smoke-free policy implementation and support among owners and managers of MUH throughout Western New York State.
A telephone survey was administered to a sample of owners and managers of MUH buildings in the Erie and Niagara counties, New York. A total of 127 respondents completed the survey between March and July 2008 (62% response rate). Logistic regression was used to assess predictors of policy implementation and support, while adjusting for participant smoking status, quantity of units owned/managed, government subsidy status, as well as building age, construction type, and size.
Only 13% of participants reported smoking restrictions within any of their buildings. Among those without a smoke-free policy, 75% would be interested in restricting smoking in at least one of their units, with interest being significantly higher among participants with government-subsidized units (odds ratio = 3.12, 95% CI = 1.14-8.52). Primary barriers to policy implementation included concern over increased vacancy (27%) and a decreased market base (21%).
Few Western New York MUH owners and managers have implemented smoke-free policies in their buildings, but most are receptive to doing so. Therefore, opportunities exist for interventions to enhance policy acceptance, implementation, and enforcement among these individuals.