Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 162–169 | Cite as

Perceptions of Secondhand and Thirdhand Smoke Among Hispanic Residents of Multiunit Housing

  • Angélica Delgado Rendón
  • Jennifer B. Unger
  • Tess Cruz
  • Daniel W. Soto
  • Lourdes Baezconde-Garbanati
Original Paper


Despite the progressive adoption of smoking bans in public spaces, children living in multi-unit housing remain at risk of exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) and thirdhand smoke (THS). Hispanic populations in California are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of SHS and THS because a large proportion of Hispanics live in multi-unit housing. Three focus groups were conducted in the fall of 2012 (in Spanish and English, N = 24) to understand Hispanics’ knowledge of and experiences with SHS and THS, including barriers to avoiding smoke exposure and strategies for protecting their homes from smoke. Hispanic residents reported unpleasant experiences with SHS and THS and were generally knowledgeable about the adverse health effects, although they were not familiar with the term “thirdhand smoke.” Some participants also mentioned marijuana smoke as a potential health hazard. Hispanic cultural values made participants reluctant to confront their neighbors but also motivated them to find ways to protect their families from smoke. Potential solutions included working with the smokers to designate a smoking area and gaining support from the building owners. Broad smoking policies should be implemented to help Hispanic residents overcome cultural and social barriers to smoke free air.


Hispanic Secondhand smoke Thirdhand smoke Cigarette Tobacco Marijuana Policy Multi-unit housing 



This study was supported by Grant No. 21RT-0119 from the California Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP). The authors thank Monica Pattarroyo, Ryan Wilkerson, and the staff of the school where the research was conducted.


  1. 1.
    Baezconde-Garbanati L, Weich-Reushe K, Espinoza L, Portugal C, Barahona R, Garbanati J, Seedat F, Unger JB. Secondhand smoke exposure among Hispanics/Latinos living in multiunit housing: exploring barriers to new policies. Am J Health Promot. 2011;25(5):S82–90.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Barnoya J, Glantz SA. Cardiovascular effects of secondhand smoke: nearly as large as smoking. J Am Heart Assoc. 2005;111:2684–98.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Binns HJ, O’Neil J, Benuck I, Ariza AJ. Influences on parents’ decisions for home and automobile smoking bans in households with smokers. Patient Educ Couns. 2009;74:272–6.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Brugge D, Dejong W, Hyde J, Le Q, Shih CS, Wong A, Tran A. Development of targeted message concepts for recent Asian immigrants about secondhand smoke. J Health Commun. 2002;7(1):25–37.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Burton Adrian. Does the smoke ever really clear? Thirdhand smoke exposure raises new concerns. Environ Health Perspect. 2011;119(2):A70–4.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Best practices for comprehensive tobacco control programs (2007). Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2007.
  7. 7.
    Gonzales M, Malcoe LH, Kegler MC, Espinoza J. Prevalence and predictors of home and automobile smoking bans and child environmental tobacco smoke exposure: a cross-sectional study of US and Mexico-born Hispanic women with young children. BioMed Cent Public Health J. 2006;6:265. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-6-265.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Homa DM, Neff LJ, King BA, Caraballo RS, Bunnell RE, Babb SD, Garrett BE, Sosnoff CS, Wang L. Vital signs: disparities in Nonsmokers’ exposure to secondhand smoke—United States, 1999–2012. MMWR. 2015;64(04):103–8.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    King BA, Babb SD, Tynan MA, Gerzoff RB. National and state estimates of secondhand smoke infiltration among U.S. multiunit housing residents. Nicotine Tob Res. 2013;15(7):1316–21. doi: 10.1093/ntr/nts254.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Klepeis NE, Nazaroff WW. Mitigating residential exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke. Atmos Environ. 2005;40:4408–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Law J, Kelly M, Garcias P, Taylor T. An evaluation of mi familia no fuma: family cohesion and impact on secondhand smoking. Am J Health Educ. 2010;41(5):265–73. doi: 10.1080/19325037.2010.10599153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Lee BE, Hong YC, Park H, Ha M, Kim JH, Chang N, Roh YM, Kim BN, Kim Y, Oh SY, Kim YJ, Ha EH. Secondhand smoke exposure during pregnancy and infantile neurodevelopment. Environ Res. 2011;111:539–44.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Lewinson T, Bryant LO. “There’s no-fresh air there”: narratives of smoke exposure among residents of extended-stay hotels. Health Soc Work. 2015;40(2):77–83.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Matt GE, Quintana PJ, Destaillats H, Gundel LA, Sleiman M, Singer BC, Jacob P, Benowitz N, Winickoff JP, Rehan V, Talbot P, Schick S, Samet J, Wang Y, Hang B, Martins-Green M, Pankow JF, Hovell MF. Thirdhand tobacco smoke: emerging evidence and arguments for a multidisciplinary research agenda. Environ Health Perspect. 2011;119(9):1218–26. doi: 10.1289/ehp.1103500.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Matt GE, Quintana PJD, Hovell MF, Bernert JT, Song S, Novianti N, Juarez T, Floro J, Gehrman C, Garcia M, Larson S. Households contaminated by environmental tobacco smoke: sources of infant exposures. Tob Control. 2004;13:29–37.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Mills AL, White MM, Pierce JP, Messer K. Home smoking bans among U.S. households with children and smokers: opportunities for intervention. Am J Prev Med. 2011;41(6):559–65.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Oh SS, Tcheurekdjian H, Roth LA, Nguyen EA, Sen S, Galanter JM, Davis A, Farber HJ, Gilliland FD, Kumar R, Avila PC, Brigino-Buenaventura E, Chapela R, Ford JG, LeNoir MA, Lurmann F, Meade K, Serebrisky D, Thyne S, Rodriguez-Cintron W, Rodriguez-Santana JR, Williams K, Borrell LN, Burchard EG. Effect of secondhand smoke on asthma control among black and Latino children. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2012;129(6):1478–83.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Santiago-Rivera A, Arredondo P, Gallardo-Cooper M. Counseling Latinos and la familia: a practical guide, vol. 17., Multicultural aspects of counselingThousand Oaks: Sage Publications; 2002.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Sleiman M, Logue JM, Luo W, Pankow JF, Gundel LA, Destaillats H. Inhalable constituents of thirdhand tobacco smoke: chemical characterization and health impact considerations. Environ Sci Technol. 2014;48(22):13093–101. doi: 10.1021/es5036333.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Sleiman M, Destaillats H, Smith JD, Liu CL, Ahmed M, Wilson KR, Gundel LA. Secondary organic aerosol formation from ozone-initiated reactions with nicotine and secondhand tobacco smoke. Atmos Environ. 2010;44(34):4191–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Sue DW, Sue D. Counseling Hispanic/Latino Americans. 5th ed., Counseling the culturally diverse: theory and practiceHoboken: John Wiley & Sons Inc.; 2008. p. 375–88.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The health consequences of involuntary exposure to tobacco smoke: a report of the surgeon general. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Coordinating Center for Health Promotion, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health; 2006.
  23. 23.
    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The health consequences of smoking—50 years of progress a report of the surgeon general 2014. U.S. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health; 2014. Printed with corrections, January 2014.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Wagner KD, Ritt-Olson A, Chou CP, Pokhrel P, Duan L, Baezconde-Garbanati L, Soto DW, Unger JB. Associations between family structure, family functioning, and substance abuse among Hispanic/Latino adolescents. Psychol Addict Behav. 2010;24(1):98–108. doi: 10.1037/a0018497.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Wilson KM, Klein JD, Blumkin AK, Gottlieb M, Winickoff JP. Tobacco-smoke exposure in children who live in multi-unit housing. Pediatrics. 2010;127(1):85–92.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Winickoff JP, Friebely J, Tanski SE, Sherrod C, Matt GE, Hovell MF, McMillen RC. Beliefs about the health effect of “thirdhand” smoke and home smoking bans. Pediatrics. 2009;123:74–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Yerger VB, Battle RS, Moore RS. Evaluating the implementation process of a citywide smoke-free multiunit housing ordinance: insights from community stakeholders. Am J Public Health. 2014;104(10):1889–91. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2014.302075.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Zhang X, Martinez-Donate AP, Kuo D, Jones NR, Palmersheim KA. Trends in home smoking bans in the U.S.A., 1995–2007: prevalence, discrepancies and disparities. Tob Control. 2012;21(3):330–6. doi: 10.1136/tc.2011.043802.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Angélica Delgado Rendón
    • 1
  • Jennifer B. Unger
    • 1
  • Tess Cruz
    • 1
  • Daniel W. Soto
    • 1
  • Lourdes Baezconde-Garbanati
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Preventive Medicine, Institute for Prevention Research, Keck School of MedicineUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

Personalised recommendations