Expanding Smoke-Free Communities

Our partner, the American Lung Association of the North East (ALANE), has been awarded a grant for Expanding Smoke-Free Communities, a project made possible by the National Dissemination and Support Initiative of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Community Transformation Grants Program.  This week, we’re joining ALANE, Bronx Health REACH, our Bronx Smoke-Free Partnership, The Children’s Hospital of Montefiore and other health advocates to offer strategic direction in a new initiative to reduce tobacco use and eliminate secondhand exposure in multi-unit housing in the South Bronx.

In the South Bronx, one in five adults smoke, and South Bronx residents are 35% more likely to be current smokers than NYC residents overall (19% vs. 14%).  Not only does the South Bronx have one of the highest smoking rates in the city, but it also has one of the highest rates of children with asthma. Our work in the South Bronx is vitally important to reduce health disparities in one of the city’s poorest communities.

Our strategic action plan will focus on significantly increasing smoke-free housing options in the South Bronx, in part, by awarding a limited number of Smoke-Free Home Mini-Grants. Low-income housing providers in the South Bronx will be eligible to receive assistance for their efforts to increase smoke-free housing.  These awards are just part of a comprehensive approach designed to mobilize low incoming housing providers and increase community capacity towards increasing smoke-free housing.

As a member of the Leadership Team for this initiative, we hope to provide ongoing support, guidance, resources, and capacity to affect change.  The Team is structured to represent the most undeserved in the South Bronx community in order to improve health. The strength of any coalition or team is derived from its diversity, passion and commitment.  ALANE has brought together medical professionals, the business sector, non-governmental organizations, housing groups and local government to be a part of this exciting new initiative.

The South Bronx is only one community. This new grant has the potential to reduce health disparities, tranform communities across the country and lessen the burden of tobacco use on our society.