Ohio Families Living in Public Housing Now Protected from Secondhand Smoke Exposure
COLUMBUS OH (07/30/2018) (readMedia)-- Secondhand smoke is a serious health threat, and can linger in rooms and even travel between homes in multi-unit housing. There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke, and today Ohio residents in public housing should be protected by a new smokefree housing rule from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that goes into effect today.
"Everyone deserves the opportunity to lead a healthy life, and ensuring homes are free from the risks of secondhand smoke is a critical step for the health of residents," said American Lung Association Health Promotion Specialist Julian Collins MS, CHES. "This is especially true for children and those who are more vulnerable to the impact of secondhand smoke, such as those living with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Today we're making a healthier future for Ohio and our nation."
In November 2016, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced a rule requiring all federally-owned public housing to become smokefree by July 30, 2018. This rule will protect close to two million Americans nationwide from being exposed to secondhand smoke in their homes, including 690,000 children.
The American Lung Association celebrates this long-awaited health protection, following more than a decade of advocacy for the passage of the rule as well as support for the implementation of smokefree housing policies in local public housing authorities. In Ohio, it means protections for residents in local public housing agencies.
In Ohio, ALA is currently working with four housing authorities and are branching out to other HUD funded housing including those at the Volunteers of America and Salvation Army. In addition, the ALA is currently working with health organizations that have clinics in local income-based housing communities.
We also provide public housing authority residents who participate in Freedom From Smoking cessation clinics with kits which offers stress reduction tools tips and reminders to help them go smokefree.
In preparation for the rule implementation, the American Lung Association was a participant in of the planning process for the Cincinnati Metropolitan housing authority's smoke free policy
"Today we celebrate this important step to protect health of residents in Ohio, and we know we'll see the health benefits for years to come," said Collins
Secondhand smoke exposure poses serious health threats to both children and adults. Damaging health effects in children and adults include lung cancer, respiratory infections, worsened asthma symptoms, heart attacks and stroke. For residents of multi-unit housing (e.g., apartment buildings and condominiums), secondhand smoke can be a major concern even if people don't smoke in your unit, as smoke can migrate from other units and common areas and travel through doorways, cracks in walls, electrical lines, plumbing, and ventilation systems.
American Lung Association materials and success stories on smokefree housing can be found at Lung.org/smokefreehousing.
For media interested in speaking with an expert about local public housing authorities transition to smokefree, secondhand smoke or lung health, contact the American Lung Association at Gregg.Tubbs@lung.org or 202-715-3469.
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.