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Public Health Reports: Tobacco-Smoke Incursions and Satisfaction Among Residents With Children in Multiunit Housing, United States, 2013

In a recent article in Public Health Reports, Drs. Karen Wilson, Robert McMillen, and Jonathan Klein from Mississippi State University, Dr. Michelle Torok from University of Colorado, Denver, and Drs. Douglas Levy and Jonathan Winickoff from Harvard Medical School assessed the impact of tobacco smoke-free policies and tobacco-smoke incursions on housing satisfaction in multiunit housing residences with children. Authors surveyed U.S. adult multiunit housing dwellers who reported having a child in the home. They collected data on their demographic characteristics, tobacco-smoke incursions, knowledge and attitudes about smoking policies, and housing satisfaction.

Most multiunit housing residents with children in the home did not smoke and did not allow smoking in their units; however, most lived in buildings where smoking was allowed in units and on the building’s property, and many (25 percent) experienced tobacco-smoke incursions, often regularly. Both smokers and nonsmokers strongly supported tenants’ right to live in a smoke-free building and to be protected from smoke exposure. Experiencing tobacco-smoke incursions decreased multiunit housing residents’ satisfaction with their homes; however, most stayed silent and did not report tobacco-smoke exposure to management. Combined with expanding knowledge about the detrimental health effects of exposure to smoke and emissions from all tobacco products, these additional public support data should help foster universal smoke-free multiunit housing in the United States.

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