Public Health Resources


Date of this Version



Am J Prev Med 2016;51(5):682–692


U.S. Government Work


Introduction: Multiunit housing (MUH) residents are particularly susceptible to involuntary secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure in their home, which can enter their living units from nearby units and shared areas where smoking occurs. To date, no study has assessed non-cigarette tobacco use among MUH residents. This study assessed the prevalence and sociodemographic correlates of tobacco use (combustible, noncombustible, any tobacco use including electronic cigarettes), smoke-free home rules, and SHS incursions among U.S. MUH residents.

Methods: Data came from the 2013–2014 National Adult Tobacco Survey, a telephone survey of U.S. adults aged >18 years. Analyses were conducted in 2015. Prevalence of current tobacco use and smoke-free home rules were assessed overall and by sociodemographics, stratified by housing type (single family versus MUH). Prevalence and adjusted odds of SHS incursions among MUH residents with smoke-free home rules were assessed.

Results: Tobacco use was higher among adults living in MUH (24.7%) than those in single-family housing (18.9%, p<0.05). Smoke-free home rules were higher among adults living in single-family housing (86.7%) than those in MUH (80.9%, p<0.05). Among MUH residents with smoke-free homes, 34.4% experienced SHS incursions. Adjusted odds of SHS incursions were greater among women, younger adults, non-Hispanic blacks, Hispanics, and those with lower income.

Conclusions: One quarter of MUH residents use tobacco, and one third of MUH residents with smoke-free rules experience SHS incursions. Interventions are warranted to promote tobacco cessation and smoke-free building policies to protect all MUH residents, employees, and visitors from the dangers of tobacco use and SHS.