Reported Marijuana and Tobacco Smoke Incursions Among Families Living in Multiunit Housing in New York City

Lodoe Sangmo, Bian Liu, Cordelia Elaiho, Lisa Boguski, Michael Yaker, Micah Resnick, Alefiyah Malbari, Karen M. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: While public knowledge on the prevalence and adverse health effects of secondhand tobacco smoke exposure is well established, information on the prevalence of secondhand marijuana smoke (SHMS) exposure is limited. Methods: A convenience sample of parents of children attending 1 of 4 pediatric practices in the Mount Sinai Health System completed an anonymous questionnaire assessing demographics, housing characteristics, and the child's health status, as well as smoke incursions and household smoking behaviors. Results: About 450 parents completed the survey between 2018 and 2019; those with incomplete data were excluded, and 382 surveys were included in the analysis. Approximately 40% of the children were white; the median age was 15 months (interquartile range: 5–40 months). About 30.9% (n = 118) of participants reported marijuana incursions in their home while with their child, while 33.5% (n = 122) reported tobacco smoke incursions. SHMS exposure differed by race (P = .0043); and by housing types (P < .0001). Participants in New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) developments were more likely to report smelling SHMS (adjusted odds ratio = 3.45, 95% confidence interval = 1.18, 10.10], P = .02). Those in Section 8 housing were also more likely to report smelling SHMS, but the association was not significant (adjusted odds ratio = 3.29, 95% confidence interval = 0.94, 11.55, P = .06). Approximately two thirds of the participants reported viewing marijuana smoke as being harmful to their child. Conclusions: About one third of the families enrolled in the study reported smelling SHMS while at home with their child. Reported marijuana smoke exposure was associated with living in NYCHA housing. Policies that limit all smoke in multiunit housing should be supported.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)670-676
Number of pages7
JournalAcademic Pediatrics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 May 2021


  • housing
  • marijuana
  • smoke exposure
  • tobacco


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