Online Program

Effects of policy change on smoking status for Boston public housing residents

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 8:45 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

Tegan Evans, MPH, Department of Epidemiology, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Jessica Davine, MSW/MPH, Department of Epidemiology, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Alan Geller, RN, MPH, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Daniel Brooks, DSc, MPH, Department of Epidemiology, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA
The Tobacco Treatment Advocates in Public Housing Research Project, is a group-randomized smoking cessation trial designed to test whether public housing residents trained as Tobacco Treatment Advocates (TTAs) can increase (1) utilization of smoking cessation resources, and (2) smoking cessation rates among smokers in Boston public housing (BPH). In September 2012, the Boston Housing Authority (BHA) implemented a policy that bans smoking in BHA owned properties, including residents' apartments. To gain a better understanding of participants' general understanding of the policy and its potential impact on their motivation to quit smoking, we added a set of questions on the smoking restriction policy to the study's baseline and follow-up questionnaires. Topics covered included knowledge of different components of the policy, attitude toward the policy, and a self-assessment of the policies impact on readiness to quit. All subjects (n=571) received the questionnaire, 103 with pre- and post-implementation responses and 468 with post-implementation administration only. Additionally, audiotapes of counseling sessions with subjects in the intervention arm were analyzed to further illustrate the impact of policy change on readiness, motivation and confidence to quit smoking. As many municipalities across the country move towards considering similar smoke-free policies, lessons learned in Boston provide an important framework for future efforts and may also have relevance for other areas of health policy.

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Public health or related education
Public health or related public policy
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify the role policy change has on the impact of public health outcomes. Describe how multi-method data collection was used to further understand the individual and community level impacts policy change can have on a low SEP community. Discuss the outcomes of the project’s smoking restriction policy survey.

Keyword(s): Policy/Policy Development, Public Housing

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the Project Director for NIH/NCI funded low income smoking cessation research grant for ~4 years, as well as contributed to the completion of multiple grants focusing on smoking cessation in public housing. Prior to my position of Project Director for the Tobacco Treatment Advocates in Public Housing research project, I was Project Manager for the BUSPH Prevention Research Center, where I trained and supervised CHWs for both health promotion and research interventions.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.