Landlord attitudes and behaviors regarding smoke-free policies: implications for voluntary policy change

Public Health Nurs. 2011 Jan-Feb;28(1):3-12. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1446.2010.00904.x. Epub 2010 Oct 25.


Objective: The study purpose was to describe multiunit landlord attitudes and behaviors toward smoke-free policies.

Design and sample: This was a descriptive, cross-sectional survey of multiunit landlords in Douglas County (N=392).

Measures: A 25-item survey was developed and pilot tested. It was administered by telephone (n=143) and mail (n=249) to multiunit landlords.

Results: Combined response rate was 30.1% (81/143 telephone, 37/249 mail) representing 24,080 units on 974 properties with 34,399 tenants. Most respondents (73.7%) allowed smoking. Reasons for not implementing smoke-free policies were potential enforcement problems (57.0%), tenant objections (43.0%), loss of market share (39.5%). Respondents without smoke-free policies expected vacancy (53.6%) and turnover (50.0%) rates to increase, which was significantly different (p <.0001) than respondents with smoke-free policies where only 10.7% reported increased vacancy and only 3.7% reported increased turnover.

Conclusions: Expected adverse impacts of smoke-free policies do not reflect real experiences of smoke-free policy implementation. Public health advocates can use these study findings to develop community-based education and social marketing messages directed at voluntary smoke-free policy changes. Respondents without smoke-free policies expressed interest at the end of the survey in learning how to implement smoke-free policies indicating a readiness for change.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Policy*
  • Health Promotion
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Nebraska
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Smoking
  • Smoking Cessation / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Smoking Cessation / methods
  • Smoking Cessation / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / prevention & control*
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / statistics & numerical data


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution