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Smoke-Free Policies in Multiunit Housing: Smoking Behavior and Reactions to Messaging Strategies in Support or in Opposition
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    Given the high proportion of US adults living in multiunit housing (MUH) and the related risks of secondhand smoke, we examined correlates of having smoke-free MUH policies, level of support for such policies, and reactions to related messaging among a quota-based nonprobability sample of US adults.


    In 2013, 752 adult MUH residents were recruited through an online survey panel to complete a cross-sectional survey assessing tobacco use, personal smoke-free policies in homes and cars, smoke-free MUH policies, and reactions to messaging on smoke-free MUH policies. We sought sufficient representation of smokers, racial/ethnic minorities, and residents of the Southeast.


    Overall, 56.3% had no smoke-free MUH policies and 16.2% had complete policies; 62.8% favored living in smoke-free MUH, and 28.9% said they would move if their building became smoke-free. Multivariate regression indicated that correlates of living in MUH with partial or no policies included younger age, less education, lower income, and current smoking (P’s ≤ .01); more restrictive smoke-free MUH policies were associated with lower cigarette consumption and recent quit attempts among current smokers (P’s < .05); and correlates of support for MUH policies included greater education, nonsmoker status, and having complete MUH policies (P’s < .05). Of 9 messages opposing smoke-free MUH policies, the most persuasive was “People have the right to smoke in their own homes”; the most persuasive message of 11 in support was “You have the right to breathe clean air in your home.”


    Smoke-free MUH policies may reduce smoking. Messaging in favor of smoke-free MUH policies was more persuasive than messaging opposing such policies, indicating the potential for using these approaches.

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  • Funding:
    1K07CA139114-01A1/CA/NCI NIH HHS/United States
    3 U48 DP001909-04S1/DP/NCCDPHP CDC HHS/United States
    U01CA154282-01/CA/NCI NIH HHS/United States
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