Objective: To assess the efficacy of an intervention to encourage the adoption of smoke-free policies among owners and managers of multiunit housing.
Design: A pretest-posttest quasi-experimental design was employed.
Participants: The study population included 287 multiunit housing operators (MUHOs) from across New York State who were recruited to complete a baseline survey designed to assess policies about smoking in the housing units that they owned and/or managed. Subjects were surveyed between March and July 2008 (n = 128 intervention, n = 159 control) and recontacted 1 year later to complete a follow-up survey (n = 59 intervention, n = 95 control).
Intervention: An informational packet on the benefits of implementing a smoke-free policy was mailed to MUHOs in the New York State counties of Erie and Niagara between March and July 2008. For comparison purposes, a sample of MUHOs located outside of Erie and Niagara counties who did not receive the information packet were identified to serve as control subjects.
Main outcome measures: Logistic regression was used to assess predictors of policy interest, concern, and implementation at follow-up. Predictors included: intervention group, baseline status, respondent smoking status, survey type, government-subsidy status, quantity of units operated, and average building size, construction type, and age.
Results: Multiunit housing operators who received the information packet were more likely to report interest in adopting a smoke-free policy (OR = 6.49, 95% CI = 1.44-29.2), and less likely to report concerns about adopting such a policy (OR = 0.16, 95% CI = 0.04-0.66) compared to MUHOs who did not receive the information packet; however, the rate of adoption of smoke-free policies was comparable between the groups.
Conclusion: Sending MUHOs an information packet on the benefits of adopting a smoke-free policy was effective in addressing concerns and generating interest toward smoke-free policies but was not sufficient in itself to generate actual policy adoption.