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Open Access Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Smoke-free Policy in Philadelphia Public Housing

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Objectives: Multi-unit housing environments remain significant sources of secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure, especially for vulnerable populations in subsidized housing. In Philadelphia, the largest US housing authority to implement smoke-free policies, we measured baseline resident smoking-related behaviors and attitudes, and longitudinal exposures to airborne nicotine, during policy development and implementation. Methods: In 4 communities, we collected data in 2013, 2014, and 2016, before and after introduction of comprehensive smoke-free policies, interviewing persons in 172 households, and monitoring air-borne nicotine in non-smoking homes and public areas. Average nicotine level differences across years were estimated with multi-level models. Results: Fifty-six percent of respondents smoked. Only 37% of households were smoke- free, with another 41% restricting smoking by area or time of day. The number of locations with detectable nicotine did not differ before and after policy implementation, with approximately 20% of non-smoking homes and 70%-80% of public areas having detectable nicotine. However, public area nicotine levels were lower in 2016, after policy implementation, than in 2013 and 2014 (-0.19 μg/m3, p = .03). Conclusions: Findings suggest that initial policy implementation was associated with reduced SHS exposure in Philadelphia. As HUD strengthens smoke-free policies, SHS monitoring can be useful to educate stakeholders and build support for policy enforcement.

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Keywords: AIR MONITORING; HEALTH POLICY; PUBLIC HOUSING; SECONDHAND SMOKE; SMOKING CONTROL; SMOKING POLICY; VULNERABLE POPULATIONS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2017-04-01

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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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