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Predictors of Smoke-Free Policies in Affordable Multiunit Housing, North Carolina, 2013
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  • Alternative Title:
    Prev Chronic Dis
  • Description:

    Smoke-free policies can effectively protect nonsmokers from secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure in multiunit housing. We surveyed all affordable multiunit housing properties in North Carolina to determine the statewide prevalence of smoke-free policies and to identify predictors of smoke-free policies.


    Representatives of affordable housing properties in North Carolina completed a mailed or online survey during June through October 2013. The primary outcome measure was presence of a smoke-free policy, defined as prohibiting smoking in all residential units. We used χ2 analysis and multivariate logistic regression to identify correlates of smoke-free policies.


    Of 1,865 eligible properties, responses were received for 1,063 (57%). A total of 16.5% of properties had policies that prohibited smoking in all residential units, while 69.6% prohibited smoking in indoor common areas. In multivariate analysis, an increase in the number of children per unit was associated with a decrease in the odds of having a smoke-free policy at most properties. Newer properties across all company sizes were more likely to have smoke-free policies. Accessing units from interior hallways predicted smoke-free policies among medium-sized companies.


    More smoke-free policies in affordable multiunit housing are needed to protect vulnerable populations, particularly children, from SHS exposure. Public health professionals should continue to educate housing operators about SHS and the benefits of smoke-free policies at all properties, including older ones and ones where units are accessed from outside rather than from an interior hallway.

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