New Rule Protects 31,000 Missouri Residents From Secondhand Smoke
(July 25, 2018) -
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Missouri public housing residents will be protected from the dangers of secondhand smoke through a new smokefree housing rule from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that goes into effect July 30.
“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,” said Plesetta Clayton, director of health promotions for the American Lung Association in Missouri.
The 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 Missouri, it means protections for more than 31,000 residents in local public housing agencies.
“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 Clayton. “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 Missouri and our country.”
In Missouri, the Lung Association is sharing best practices to implement smokefree housing policies with public housing authorities and providing free smoking cessation support to residents. This is part of the new Smokefree Public Housing Initiative, funded by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation.
In November 2016, 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.
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 are at Lung.org/smokefreehousing.
About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation
Through charitable grant making, the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation LLC, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, promotes Anthem’s inherent commitment to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield serves. The Foundation focuses it’s funding on strategic initiatives that address and provide innovative solutions to health care challenges, as well as promoting the Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets specific disease states and medical conditions. These include: prenatal care in the first trimester, low birth weight babies, cardiac morbidity rates, long term activities that decrease obesity and increase physical activity, diabetes prevalence in adult populations, adult pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations and smoking cessation. The Foundation also coordinates the company’s year-round Associate Giving program and its parent foundation provides a 50 percent match of associates’ pledges. ®ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
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.