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Am J Health Promot. 2011 Sep-Oct;26(1):37-44. doi: 10.4278/ajhp.091005-QUAN-329.

A systematic examination of smoke-free policies in multiunit dwellings in Virginia as reported by property managers: implications for prevention.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia 22908-0660, USA. slj4u@virginia.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE:

In most states, smoking has been curtailed to some extent in public buildings, workplaces, and restaurants. The next frontier for smoke-free policies is the multiunit dwelling industry. However, the extent to which smoke-free housing currently is available is unknown. The purpose of this study was to measure the market for smoke-free housing in Virginia and to identify barriers to adopting smoke-free policies.

DESIGN:

Telephone interviews were conducted with property managers of rental apartments, townhouses, senior housing, and public housing in four Virginia cities.

SETTING:

Four cities in Virginia.

SUBJECTS:

Two hundred sixty-three property managers in four cities in Virginia (approximately 75 property managers per city).

MEASURES:

Property managers were administered a brief telephone survey.

RESULTS:

Only 33.8% of property managers reported some type of smoke-free policy, with only 15% of those policies prohibiting smoking in residential units. Most property managers without a smoke-free policy were not considering adopting such a policy for a variety of reasons.

CONCLUSION:

The availability of smoke-free multiunit dwellings is severely lacking. This study identified a number of science-based and legal misperceptions that may prevent the adoption of smoke-free policies. Correction of these misperceptions is warranted to increase the availability of smoke-free housing. Such policies will be useful in creating environments that support good health practices while simultaneously protecting tenants from exposure to secondhand smoke.

PMID:
21879941
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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