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Am J Health Promot. 2017 May;31(3):243-250. doi: 10.4278/ajhp.150318-QUAL-781. Epub 2015 Nov 11.

A Qualitative Examination of Smoke-Free Policies and Electronic Cigarettes Among Sheltered Homeless Adults.

Author information

1
1 Cancer Prevention and Control Division, Moores UCSD Cancer Center, University of California, San Diego.
2
2 Division of Health Policy, Department of Family Medicine and Public Health, University of California, San Diego.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To examine attitudes toward smoke-free policies and perceptions of e-cigarette use among homeless adults.

APPROACH:

A cross-sectional qualitative study was conducted.

SETTING:

Study setting comprised seven transitional homeless shelters with indoor smoke-free policies in San Diego County; facilities differed in outdoor restrictions on smoking.

PARTICIPANTS:

Sixty-six current or former smokers were the study participants.

METHOD:

Participants completed a questionnaire on smoking behaviors, perceived antitobacco norms, and attitudes toward smoke-free policies, and attended a focus group interview that explored these topics. We used a directed content analysis approach to analyze the focus group transcripts.

RESULTS:

Clients in facilities with outdoor restrictions on smoking had stronger perceived antitobacco norms than those in facilities without such restrictions. We identified the following major themes: attitudes toward smoke-free policies, the use of e-cigarettes, the addictive potential of cigarettes, vulnerability to tobacco industry marketing, and interest in smoking cessation. The consensus was that smoke-free policies were important because they limited secondhand smoke exposure to nonsmokers and children. All were curious about e-cigarettes, particularly if they could be smoked in areas where smoking was prohibited and/or used as a cessation aid.

CONCLUSION:

In this study of homeless adults, there was strong support for indoor and outdoor smoke-free policies. However, misperceptions that e-cigarettes could be used indoors could threaten antitobacco norms, highlighting opportunities to educate about the potential risks of e-cigarette use among homeless individuals.

KEYWORDS:

Cigarette Smoking, Electronic Cigarettes, Homeless Adults, Smoke-Free Policies, Smoking Cessation, Prevention Research. Manuscript format: research; Health focus: smoking control; Outcome measure: behavioral; Research purpose: descriptive; Setting: community; Strategy: policy; Study design: qualitative; Target population age: adults; Target population circumstances: education/income level and geographic location

PMID:
26559719
DOI:
10.4278/ajhp.150318-QUAL-781
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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