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19.05.2016 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 6/2016

Journal of Community Health 6/2016

Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Smoke-Free Policy Support Among Public Housing Authority Residents in Rural and Tribal Settings

Journal of Community Health > Ausgabe 6/2016
Lisa M. Schmidt, Alison A. Reidmohr, Steven D. Helgerson, Todd S. Harwell


Previous research has shown that multi-unit housing (MUH) residents are at risk of secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure, which can transfer between units. The purpose of this study was to determine SHS exposure and examine attitudes towards smoking policies among public housing authority (PHA) residents in rural and tribal settings. A self-administered questionnaire was completed by 895 adult tenants (41 % response rate) living in PHA multiunit buildings in Montana in 2013. Our primary outcome was tenant support of smoke-free policies; our secondary outcome was exacerbation of child asthma symptoms due to SHS exposure. In 2014, we used multiple logistic regression models to test associations between independent variables and outcomes of interest. The majority (80.6 %) of respondents supported having a smoke-free policy in their building, with support being significantly higher among nonsmokers [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 4.2, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 1.5–11.6] and among residents living with children (aOR 2.9, 95 % CI 1.3–6.2). Tribal residents were as likely to support smoke-free policies as non-tribal residents (aOR 1.4; 95 % CI 0.5–4.0). Over half (56.5 %) of respondents reported SHS exposure in their home; residents in a building with no smoke-free policy in place were significantly more likely to report exposure (aOR 3.5, 95 % CI 2.2–5.5). SHS exposure was not significantly associated with asthma symptoms. There is a significant reduction in exposure to SHS in facilities with smoke-free policies and there is strong support for such policies by both tribal and non-tribal MUH residents. Opportunities exist for smoke-free policy initiatives in rural and tribal settings.

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