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Reducing Tobacco Use in Assisted Living: Obstacles and Opportunities

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Objectives: This research examined state laws and regulations that restrict tobacco use in assisted living residences, challenges in preventing tobacco use on the premises, and effective strategies to help address these obstacles. Methods: Data were obtained from a 50-state survey of state laws and regulations restricting tobacco use in assisted living settings and from semi-structured interviews with assisted living experts in 6 states where smoke-free assisted living policies were required by state law or local governments and providers. Results: Few state smoke-free laws or licensing regulations require assisted living residences to be smoke-free. Most providers adopt and enforce smoke-free policies on their own. Assisted living providers face several challenges in enforcing smoke-free restrictions, including the high prevalence of staff smoking, lack of affordable cessation aids, wide variability in staff training on nicotine addiction, and limited capacity to monitor smoking residents. Conclusions: Assisted living providers, state and local governments, and public housing authorities can reduce tobacco addiction and secondhand smoke exposure in assisted living settings by promoting staff cessation, prohibiting staff smoking with residents, providing tobacco cessation training and resources, encouraging integrated systems health care approaches, and increasing insurance coverage for cessation.
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Keywords: ADULT FOSTER CARE; ASSISTED LIVING; REGULATION; SMOKING

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2017-10-01

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  • Tobacco Regulatory Science (Electronic ISSN 2333-9748) is a rigorously peer-reviewed online scientific journal for the dissemination of research relevant to the regulation of tobacco products. The journal content includes a broad array of research domains, including chemistry, biology, behavior, community, and population-level surveillance and epidemiology, as well as knowledge syntheses (eg, meta-analyses or state-of-the-art reviews) and analytic modeling. All articles describe the policy relevance of the research outcomes. Given the global nature of tobacco regulation, particularly as a result of international and national policies, Tobacco Regulatory Science publishes high quality research that is relevant to global regulatory needs and requirements. Tobacco Regulatory Science is published electronically 6 times per year.
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