New rule seeks to protect families who live in public housing from secondhand smoke exposure

Health News
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Secondhand smoke is considered a serious health threat according to the American Lung Association, and can linger in rooms and even travel between homes in multi-unit housing.

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 went into effect on July 30, 2018.

“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.

In Ohio, the American Lung Association is currently working with local housing authorities and are branching out to other HUD funded housing including those at the Volunteers of America and Salvation Army. In addition, they are working with health clinics in local income-based housing communities.

They 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 smoke free.

“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.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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