State Tobacco Control Program Implementation Strategies for Smoke-Free Multiunit Housing

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Multiunit housing residents are at risk of secondhand smoke exposure from adjoining units and common areas. We developed this case study to document state-level strategies undertaken to address this risk. We explored program documents to identify facilitators, barriers, and outcomes. Three states (Montana, Michigan, and Nebraska) provided detailed information on multiunit housing efforts in the study time frame. We conducted a qualitative analysis using inductive coding to develop themes. Several facilitators relating to existing infrastructure included traditional and nontraditional partnerships, leadership and champions, collecting and using data, efficient use of resources, and strategic plans. We also report external catalysts, barriers, and outcomes. Significant state leadership and effort were required to provide local-level technical assistance to engage traditional and nontraditional partners. Information needs were identified and varied by stakeholder type (i.e., health vs. housing). States recommend starting with public housing authorities, so they can become resources for affordable and subsidized housing. These lessons and resources can be used to inform smoke-free multiunit housing initiatives in other states and localities.

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