Building Success Study

BUILDING SUCCESS Study: Optimizing the impact of Smoke-Free Residential Policies using an Evidence-Informed Implementation Approach
Project period: December 2018–December 2022
Funding: The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Healthy Homes grant #MAHHU0041-18

We partnered with a private housing management company adopting a smoke-free policy. Twelve of the company’s housing development sites, located in five states (PA, VA, WV, KY, and OH), were randomized to three waves (4 sites per wave).  Using an established implementation science framework to guide our approach, we worked in close collaboration with property managers and staff to strategically incorporate six implementation strategies into their smoke-free policy adoption plan.  Intervention materials were refined with successive waves. Interventions were delivered to Property Managers via in-person, phone, or remote (Zoom) meetings.

Resident surveys

From May 2019 to July 2021, we surveyed residents at a private housing management company adopting a smoke-free policy. Three hundred eighty-six (386) residents enrolled in the study and completed three surveys:

  • Baseline (prior to smoke-free policy)
  • One-month survey (approximately one month post-smoke-free policy implementation)
  • 8-month survey (approximately 8 months post-smoke-free policy implementation)

Survey questions assessed support for the smoke-free policy, perceived exposure to secondhand smoke, and policy understanding. Residents completed surveys online, through the mail, or with a trained interviewer over the phone or in person.

Air quality measurement

Air quality was measured to determine secondhand smoke levels in public areas of each of the 12 developments surveyed. Indoor air quality was assessed using a measure of airborne nicotine concentration. Three passive nicotine monitors were placed in separate indoor common areas of each development (such as laundry rooms, community rooms, stairwells) for a period of one week at three separate timepoints.

Qualitative interviews

Eight (8) focus groups were conducted with resident smokers and non-smokers. Individual interviews were conducted with property managers (n=11) and residents (n=53).

The activities described above were approved by the Harvard Longwood Campus Institutional Review Board.