142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Community-wide Implementation of a Smoke-Free Policy in Multi-Unit Housing in Western New York: Anticipation, Application and Adoption

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 : 10:50 AM - 11:10 AM

Amina Alio, PhD , Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
Sandra Whitney , Rochester Housing Authority, Rochester, NY
Holly Widanka , Public Health Sciences, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
Hazel Adekunle, MLA , Public Health Sciences, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
Ann M. Dozier, RN, PhD , Public Health Sciences/Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
Objectives: In 2013, a community in Western New York implemented smoke-free policies in its 25 Multi-Unit Housing (MUH) complexes serving primarily low-income populations. This paper presents evaluation findings on MUH managers’ and residents’ anticipated concerns prior to the adoption of the policy, implementation processes and challenges, and initial reactions as they adapted to the new ban on smoking. 

Methods: Pre and post policy implementation data included MUH resident and manager surveys examining reactions to the new policy, and environmental assessments via a PhotoVoice project. Process data consisted of the extent of policy implementation and available community resources.

Results: Residents’ anticipated and actual reactions to the policy were mixed and primarily dependent upon their smoking habits. MUH had more concerns pre-implementation than post including: losing tenants who smoke, potential tenant lawsuits, the impact on disabled and elderly tenant smokers. PhotoVoice data revealed changes in the physical environment, including differences between complexes. Data informed needed physical changes pre (e.g., potential no-smoking sign placement) and post implementation (e.g., sign visibility, evidence of smoking around signs).    

Conclusions: Smoke-free policy implementation was facilitated by multiple community agencies working together to support the MUH tenants and managers.  Early post implementation, positive attitudinal, behavioral and environmental changes were observed, challenges were identified, and recommendations proposed.  The experiences of this community-wide effort may inform implementation of smoke-free policies as more communities move towards the national objective of ensuring a smoke-free environment for all.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe potential challenges to implementing a community-wide smoke-free policy in multi-housing units. Discuss various methods for assessing attitudinal, behavioral and environmental issues related to community-wide smoke-free policies. Formulate recommendations and suggestions for addressing challenges to implementing smoking-free policies in multi-unit housing complexes.

Keyword(s): Community-Based Partnership & Collaboration, Public Health Policy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the co-principal of multiple federally funded grants and have served as evaluator for community programs including Federal Healthy Start programs and a Community Transformation Grant. Among my scientific interests has been health disparities in community health issues including environmental health and maternal and child health.
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.