Online Program

Smokefree Housing: Promising Practices for Controlling COPD

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 5:10 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Katherine Pruitt, American Lung Association, Washington, DC
Patricia McKone, American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest, Duluth, MN
Nearly 15 million people in the US are diagnosed with COPD. It is a leading cause of physician and emergency department visits, and a primary cause of hospitalization in older adults. The healthcare costs of the disease are projected to be $800 billion over the next two decades. Yet public health has invested little in identifying and supporting interventions to reduce the burden of COPD on patients, families and communities. This presentation makes the case for adoption of smokefree policies in multiunit housing as a promising practice for reducing morbidity and mortality from COPD.

For people with COPD, exposure to secondhand smoke is associated with greater disease severity, more breathlessness, poorer physical health status and more restricted activity. Policies that reduce exposure to secondhand smoke have been shown to result in decreased hospitalizations for COPD, among other benefits.

Smokefree multiunit housing is emerging as a powerful strategy to reduce secondhand smoke exposure among vulnerable populations, including children, low-income and the elderly. Data on the impact of smokefree policies on the health of residents is extremely limited. Because such policies are relatively new, most evaluation has focused on implementation. Several communities funded by the Community Transformation Grants included health outcomes in their evaluation, and results will be available in the coming months.

This session will present tools for smokefree housing advocates to include health outcomes in program evaluation and projection of benefits, and for public health workers and COPD advocates who are inspired to pursue smokefree housing as a promising strategy for COPD control.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe potential impact of smokefree multiunit housing policies on morbidity and mortality from COPD Empower multiunit housing residents living with COPD and other chronic disease with tools to advocate for smokefree environments Evaluate impact of smokefree policies on health outcomes for residents living with chronic disease

Keyword(s): Air Pollution & Respiratory Health, Healthy Housing

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I oversee all COPD-related health education programs and services for the national American Lung Association. I have also served as project director for 2 grant programs, now complete, that included development of tools and resources for promotion and implementation of smokefree multiunit housing policies.
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.