Tobacco smoke incursions in multiunit housing

Am J Public Health. 2014 Aug;104(8):1445-53. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2014.301878. Epub 2014 Jun 12.


Objectives: We sought to describe the prevalence of secondhand tobacco smoke incursions reported by multiunit housing (MUH) residents, pinpoint factors associated with exposure, and determine whether smoke-free building policy was associated with prevalence of reported tobacco smoke incursions.

Methods: Data are from a 2011 nationally representative dual-frame survey (random-digit-dial and Internet panels) of US adults aged 18 years and older. Individuals who lived in MUH and who reported no smoking in their homes for the past 3 months, whether or not they reported being smokers themselves, were included in this study. Incursions were defined as smelling tobacco smoke in their building or unit.

Results: Of 562 respondents, 29.5% reported smoke incursions in their buildings. Of these, 16% reported incursions in their own unit, 36.2% of which occurred at least weekly. Government-subsidized housing and partial smoke-free policies were associated with a higher likelihood of reporting smoke incursions.

Conclusions: Many residents of multiunit housing are exposed to tobacco smoke in their units and buildings. Partial smoke-free policies do not appear to protect residents and might increase the likelihood of incursions in residents' individual units.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Housing / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Residence Characteristics / statistics & numerical data
  • Smoke-Free Policy
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution