Tobacco smoke incursions in multiunit housing

Karen M. Wilson, Michelle Torok, Robert McMillen, Susanne Tanski, Jonathan D. Klein, Jonathan P. Winickoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1445-1453
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Public Health
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2014
Externally publishedYes


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