Delaware Families Living in Public Housing Now Protected from Secondhand Smoke Exposure
American Lung Association to support public housing authorities, public housing residents by sharing expertise, resources and providing quit smoking services
(July 30, 2018) - NEWARK, De.
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Delaware 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 on July 30.
“Secondhand smoke is a serious health threat and can linger in rooms and even travel between homes in multi-unit housing. A move to smokefree public housing will protect the health of millions of people from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke,” said American Lung Association Chief Mission Officer Deborah P. Brown. “There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. This is especially true for children and those who are more vulnerable to the impact of second smoke, such as those living with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.”
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,” said Brown. “This means nearly 4,000 residents of Delaware public housing authorities will be protected.”
To support this transition to a healthier, smokefree lifestyle, the Lung Association is sharing best practices to implement smokefree housing policies with public housing authorities across the state and providing smoking cessation support to residents. The association has participated in multiple local health fairs to raise awareness and educate about the benefits of smokefree multi-unit housing. And additional facilitators for the American Lung Association’s Freedom From Smoking® cessation program have been trained throughout Delaware to help the anticipated increase in people seeking help in quitting smoking.
“Today we celebrate this important step to protect the health of residents in Delaware, and we know we’ll see the health benefits for years to come,” said Brown. “We’re proud to assist in the implementation of smokefree policies and help smokers quit, when they’re ready.”
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 [email protected] or 717-971-1123, 717-503-3903 (cell).
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.