Introduction: Secondhand smoke (SHS) causes significant disease and death. A person's home represents a prominent source of SHS, and the potential for exposure is elevated among those who live in close proximity to smokers in multiunit housing (MUH). This study assessed the prevalence and predictors of SHS exposure and smoke-free policy support among MUH residents.
Methods: Data were obtained from 5,936 MUH residents who participated in the New York State Adult Tobacco Survey between May 2007 and May 2009. Bivariate analyses were used to assess the prevalence of smoke-free home policies, SHS incursions, and support for smoke-free policies. Logistic regression was used to identify predictors of these measures while adjusting for gender, age, ethnicity, education, region, children in household, and housing type.
Results: A total of 73.1% of respondents reported a personal smoke-free home policy in their home. Among these individuals, 46.2% indicated that SHS has ever entered their home in the past year, while 9.2% reported daily incursions. Overall, a majority of respondents (55.6%) support a policy that bans smoking in all areas of their building, including residential units; support was significantly higher among ethnic minorities and individuals who reside with children.
Discussion: Nearly half of New York MUH residents with a smoke-free home policy have experienced a SHS incursion in their home. Since a majority of MUH residents support smoke-free policies and nearly three quarters already prohibit smoking in their home, opportunities exist for initiatives to promote smoke-free building policies.