Background: Studies have documented movement of secondhand smoke (SHS) between units in multi-unit buildings, but none has focused on owner-occupied units in common-interest communities (CICs). In Minnesota, approximately 170,000 households (8%) live in such units. CIC households may experience long-term SHS exposure because owner-occupants typically live in the same unit for many years.
Purpose: This study estimated the prevalence of SHS incursion in CICs and assessed residents' attitudes toward SHS incursions and interest in smokefree policies.
Methods: A stratified sample of Minnesota CIC owner-occupants was surveyed in 2009, with analysis in 2010-2011. Data were weighted to account for differing sampling, response, and coverage rates by stratum, then calibrated to population control totals for housing type, age, and smoking status.
Results: The response rate was 35.6%, with 495 completions. Twenty-eight percent of households reported SHS incursion into their unit in the preceding 6 months; 59% of these said this bothers them a lot. Only 6% report that their CIC has a smokefree policy for residents' units. Forty-two percent would prefer such a policy whereas 26% would prefer smoking-permitted. Sixty-three percent definitely and 17% probably would choose a no-smoking building over a smoking-permitted building if they were buying a new unit, and 46% would be willing to pay more for such a unit.
Conclusions: Secondhand smoke incursion is common in CICs, and interest in smokefree CICs greatly exceeds the supply. Given the known health risks of SHS exposure, tobacco control efforts in multi-housing should address CICs as well as rental households.
Copyright © 2012 American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.