To assess the efficacy of an intervention to encourage the adoption of smoke-free policies among owners and managers of multiunit housing.
A pretest-posttest quasi-experimental design was employed.
The study population included 287 multiunit housing operators (MUHOs) from across New York State who were recruited to complete a baseline survey designed to assess policies about smoking in the housing units that they owned and/or managed. Subjects were surveyed between March and July 2008 (n = 128 intervention, n = 159 control) and recontacted 1 year later to complete a follow-up survey (n = 59 intervention, n = 95 control).
An informational packet on the benefits of implementing a smoke-free policy was mailed to MUHOs in the New York State counties of Erie and Niagara between March and July 2008. For comparison purposes, a sample of MUHOs located outside of Erie and Niagara counties who did not receive the information packet were identified to serve as control subjects.
Main Outcome Measures
Logistic regression was used to assess predictors of policy interest, concern, and implementation at follow-up. Predictors included: intervention group, baseline status, respondent smoking status, survey type, government-subsidy status, quantity of units operated, and average building size, construction type, and age.
Multiunit housing operators who received the information packet were more likely to report interest in adopting a smoke-free policy (OR = 6.49, 95% CI = 1.44–29.2), and less likely to report concerns about adopting such a policy (OR = 0.16, 95% CI = 0.04–0.66) compared to MUHOs who did not receive the information packet; however, the rate of adoption of smoke-free policies was comparable between the groups.
Sending MUHOs an information packet on the benefits of adopting a smoke-free policy was effective in addressing concerns and generating interest toward smoke-free policies but was not sufficient in itself to generate actual policy adoption.