Statewide Health Improvement Partnership Evaluation Studies
Smoke-Free Housing Policies
Smoking prevalence and secondhand smoke exposure remain disproportionately high in low socioeconomic status groups, despite local and state policies that prohibit smoking in bars, restaurants and other public areas.
Smoke-free housing policy has the potential to improve the quality of public housing and motivate smoking cessation, thereby decreasing the smoking prevalence and secondhand smoke exposure in low socioeconomic status groups.
This report summarizes the results of a longitudinal survey that evaluates the effect of smoke-free housing policy on smoking behavior and secondhand smoke exposure among public housing residents. Participants were recruited from eight public housing properties in Minnesota that had agreed to implement smoke-free housing policies with the help of local public health agencies and the support of SHIP funds. Pre- and post-policy surveys were administered to 180 residents.
For a second component of this evaluation, MDH interviewed local public health staff and public housing property managers and owners who have implemented smoke-free policies.
Factors that led to greater implementation and enforcement success included educating staff and residents on the adverse health effects of second and third-hand smoke (residual nicotine and other toxins left on indoor surfaces by tobacco smoke), receiving assistance from experts such as local public health staff and technical assistance providers, emphasizing the economic benefits of going smoke free and practicing consistent enforcement policies.