NOTE: Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the TEM project is on a pause.

Research has shown that tobacco smoke, e-cigarette vapor, and marijuana smoke can travel from one apartment into another and expose residents living there. The Tobacco, E-cigarette, and Marijuana Project investigates how residents of apartment housing are affected by their neighbors’ tobacco smoke, electronic cigarette vapor, or marijuana smoke.

Project funded by: California’s Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program

Principal investigator: Georg Matt, PhD

Families who live in apartments or condo complexes can help us learn more about the problems of smoke and vapors from neighbors’ tobacco, electronic cigarettes, or marijuana getting in to their homes. The Tobacco, E-Cigarette, and Marijuana Project involves two parts. In the first part of the study, we will collect information from participant and their homes. We interview participants about household habits and exposure to tobacco, electronic cigarettes, and marijuana before collecting samples from participant’s homes. In the second part of the study, we discuss the results with small groups of residents and work together to solve the problems caused by smoke and vapors in their apartment buildings.

If you are eligible and participate, you will receive up to $70 in gift cards for your time! 

For more information or to find out if you are eligible, please call 619-594-3018 or email us here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are you studying the effects of other people’s smoke coming into my home?
More and more people in California are using electronic cigarettes and marijuana. We know about the health effects of tobacco use and secondhand smoke, but health effects of electronic cigarette and marijuana use and secondhand exposure are not as well studied. In apartment housing, it has been shown that tobacco smoke can move from units where someone smokes into neighboring units of nonsmokers.

We are studying if electronic cigarette vapor and marijuana smoke will do the same as tobacco smoke and move into neighboring apartments.

What if I live in a single-family home? Can I still participate?
No, this study is only open to people who live in apartments or condos.
What kind of questions will you ask about my home environment?
At the first home visit, we will ask about smoking rules in your household and current and past use of tobacco, electronic cigarettes, and marijuana by you and anyone in your household.

At the second home visit we will ask about your experiences with pollutants getting into your apartment from outside and policies related to smoking and vaping in your apartment complex.

How do you collect air samples from my home?
We will put several small monitors (each one about the size of a large cup of coffee) in one room in your house. It will need to be plugged into an outlet and it will measure particles in the air for no longer than two weeks. We may also place a small disc, about the size of a quarter, on a wall in the same room.
How do you collect dust samples from my hands and home?
We collect dust samples from your hand by gently wiping the palm of your hand with a wet cotton wipe.

We collect dust samples by wiping a wall in your house with a wet cotton wipe and by vacuuming a space on the floor with a small vacuum cleaner.

Why do you collect air and dust samples from my and from my home? What are you looking for?
We will test the samples in a laboratory to see if there is any residue from tobacco or marijuana smoke or from electronic cigarette vapors. We will give you a report of what we find.
Why do you need to collect a urine sample?
We collect a urine sample for the same reason we collect air and dust samples. We are looking for residue from tobacco, electronic cigarettes, or marijuana. We do not test urine for any other compounds.
What happens to my samples? Who sees them? Who sees the results?
The samples are analyzed at San Diego State University laboratories by researchers who are working on this project. All results are stored in a locked computer at San Diego State. The results are shared among the researchers.
Is my name on my samples? Who will know about my answers to the interview questions?
No names are on samples or results. Instead, an ID number is used.

Your answers will be kept private and stored in a locked cabinet at San Diego State University. Your name will not be stored with your answers. We will use an ID number instead.

Do I have to tell friends about this study?
If you participate, we ask that you do. We want each participant to find a friend so that we have 60 “pairs” of participants. All we ask is that you give some friends a brochure about the study and tell them about the study. If they are interested, they can call us.
Why two visits? Can’t you collect all of the information in one visit?
No, we need to do 2 visits because we determine after the first interview if you qualify for the second part of the study. So it is possible (but very unlikely) that we will discover on the first visit that you do not qualify for the second visit.
How can I find out if I am eligible for the first part of the study?
We will interview you over the phone to determine if you are eligible. If you are, we will set up the appointment for the first visit at that time.