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Home Exposure to Secondhand Smoke among People Living in Multiunit Housing and Single Family Housing: a Study of California Adults, 2003–2012


Public health education efforts continue to encourage people to adopt voluntary smoking bans at home; nonetheless, the home remains a place where many people are exposed to secondhand smoke (SHS). Little is known about how SHS exposure in the home differs between adults residing in multiunit housing (MUH) and those residing in single family housing (SFH). This study (1) compared the socio-demographic characteristics, chronic disease conditions, and smoking status of adults living in MUH with those living in SFH, (2) assessed the correlates of living in MUH for adults, and (3) evaluated the association of residency in MUH and SFH with the odds of being exposed to SHS at home using population-based survey data of California adults. Smoking prevalence was significantly higher among MUH residents than SFH residents. The adjusted odds of exposure to SHS at home were 32 % higher for MUH smokers than SFH smokers but were not significantly different for non-smokers. This study presents evidence that there are significant socio-demographic differences between MUH residents and SFH residents and that MUH smokers have higher rates of exposure to SHS at home than SFH smokers after adjusting for other covariates. To reduce home exposure to SHS among MUH residents, it is important to adopt tobacco control policies that are aimed at reducing SHS exposure in and around MUH and at reducing cigarette smoking among current smokers in MUH.

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