Wednesday, August 1, 2018

It sneaks in through doorways, cracks in walls, electrical lines, plumbing, and ventilation systems. It may have been festering in your walls or your neighbors for years and years. It is a critically serious health threat that can trigger life-long disease, debilitation and even death. It’s secondhand smoke.

As of this past Monday, all federally owned public housing is to be smoke-free, protecting smokers and non-smokers alike,

“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 Lindsey Freitas, Senior Director, Advocacy for the American Lung Association in California. “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. This week we’re making a healthier future for California 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.

Damaging health effects in children and adults include lung cancer, respiratory infections, worsened asthma symptoms, heart attacks and stroke.

The American Lung Association is targeting all local communities to pass their own smokefree multi-unit housing policies to protect all multi-unit housing residents, not just those in public housing. Just 99 of California’s 540 cities and counties tracked in the Lung Association’s annual State of Tobacco Control report have policies in place.

“All residents living in apartments and condos should be able to breathe clean air in their own homes.”

The Lung Association reports that the City of Compton has earned an “A” for strong smokefree policies, while Carson and Long Beach have some smokefree multi-unit housing policies, but not comprehensive.

Lynwood, Inglewood, S. El Monte, and Hawthorne don’t appear to have such policies according to its latest information.