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Toward a Smoke-free Harlem: Engaging Families, Agencies, and Community-based Programs
Abstract

Abstract:

The aim of this collaborative public health study was to engage families, agencies, and programs in reducing secondhand smoke exposure in Central Harlem, New York City. Baseline interviews (n = 657) and focus groups (n = 4) were conducted with adult members of households with children who had asthma and asthma-like symptoms in the Harlem Children’s Zone Asthma Initiative. The interviews concerned the prevalence and determinants of exposure of enrolled children to secondhand smoke. Key findings were that participants: (1) were generally aware of the hazards of secondhand smoke; (2) used strategies to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke in their homes; (3) believed that outdoor pollutants are sometimes just as bad for the health of their children as secondhand smoke; and (4) used smoking to provide stress relief and help diffuse otherwise volatile situations in their homes. The Harlem Smoke-Free Home Campaign was launched in October 2007 based in part on these findings.