Our overall mission is to promote a tobacco-free society that benefits the health of all NYC residents. Some of our work at the community level includes partnering with local Community Boards across NYC to heighten awareness of tobacco control issues and support neighborhood based efforts. Recently, Queens Community Board 11 passed a resolution encouraging SFH policies in multi-unit dwellings as well as support for Smoking Disclosure Policies. To help provide a glimpse into the process, we have invited a guest blogger, Susan Cerezo, the Queens Community Board 11 Health Committee Co-Chairperson:
Susan Cerezo, Queens CB 11 Health Committee Co-Chair
Almost everyone knows or connects to a loved one or to a friend who has dealt with ramifications with cigarette smoking and/or second hand smoke. At the October 6th Community Board (CB) meeting during public participation, Phil Konigsberg, a CB 7 Health Committee member, presented a resolution for Smoke-Free Housing for multifamily dwellings, including coops and condos. Continue reading →
Just fifteen years ago, passengers on international flights could smoke, restaurants and bars were filled with smoke, office workers smoked at their desks, and our parks and beaches were littered with cigarette butts.
Now we can breath clean smoke-free air where we work and socialize–but necessarily where we live. If you live in a multi-unit/family building, near a smoker, you can be exposed to secondhand smoke.
New Yorkers are increasingly embracing smoke-free housing.
According to DNAinfo, as recently as 2008, only one rental listing advertised that it was in a smoke-free building and no for-sale condos or co-ops were advertised as smoke-free. But by 2013, 1,488 rentals, 100 condos and 66 co-ops were listed in smoke-free buildings. This year, Equity Residential’s 490-unit building, the tallest in Brooklyn, went smoke-free.
The Coalition works closely with tenants, landlords, and building managers to increase the adoption of voluntary smoke-free housing policies throughout New York City. We provide technical assistance, educate residents about the danger of secondhand smoke, and help landlords and building managers tailor smoke-free policies to meet their needs.
(Left to Right): Lenny Cheng and Wai Yee Chen (CPC-Brooklyn), former NYC Council Member Sara Gonzalez, Edric Robinson (our BK team) and Eunice Huang (CPC-Brooklyn).
While we’ve made great strides in reducing the overall smoking rate in New York City, smoking remains a big problem in Asian communities. A New York Times article pointed out that tobacco smoking is still a “way of life” in the heart of the City’s Asian communities.
A study published in Health Promotion Practice showed that high smoking rates in New York City’s Asian communities have persisted since 2012, especially among men. Smoking rates were particularly high (40.1%) among Chinese men living in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn.
To address this disparity, our Brooklyn team and their community partner, the Chinese American Planning Council–the Brooklyn Branch (CPC-Brooklyn) designed a public service ad campaign targeting Chinese (Mandarin)-speaking men to advocate for smoke-free housing in a culturally relevant and pertinent way. We’re pleased to announce that the campaign will run in issues of Epoch Times, Sing Tao, and World Journal this week.
According to the CPC-Brooklyn, a child’s future is the foremost priority for many Chinese parents. Therefore, in the campaign, we contrast two Chinese homes, each with different futures for the child.
First place winner of 2014 Addiction Science Award (l-r): Judges and NIDA grantees Dr. Keith Heinzerling and Dr. Mitchell Wong, UCLA; winner Lily Wei Lee; Judge and NIDA grantee Dr. Bridget Freisthler, UCLA; and NIDA’s Dr. Sheri Grabus
Lily Wei Lee, a high school senior at Stuyvesant High School in New York City, won the top Addiction Science Award at the 2014 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), the world’s largest science competition for high school students. The awards are coordinated by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, and Friends of NIDA, a coalition that supports NIDA’s mission.
Her award-winning project, The Assessment of Third Hand Exposure to Nicotine from Electronic Cigarettes, showed that nicotine residue from e-cigarette vapor does in fact stick to surfaces long after e-cigarette users are gone. The amount of residual nicotine depended on the brand used.
After the success of our “Supportive Housing Goes Smoke-Free” training program last year, twelve other members of the Supportive Housing Network of NY (The Network) have enrolled in this year’s program. We met with Carl Johnson, Program Director at Community Access, Inc. Community Access plans to adopt a voluntary smoke-free policy in one of their supportive housing residences (DeKalb Avenue Apartments).
1. Thank you, Carl, for joining us to learn how supportive housing providers can go smoke-free in their buildings. DeKalb Avenue Apartments is just one of the buildings that is owned and operated by Community Access. How many buildings does Community Access have?
Community Access was founded in 1974 in the Lower East Side of Manhattan and has expanded into other parts of New York City ever since. Community Access either owns, operates or provides social services in 20 buildings and more than 100 scatter-site apartments throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx.
Network members who worked with us on their efforts to go smoke-free.
The Coalition is working to help many tenants and building owners adopt voluntary smoke-free housing policies. We are also working with supportive housing providers to help them go smoke-free.
Supportive housing is affordable housing with on-site services for individuals and families facing a variety of challenges, including homelessness, mental illness, and substance abuse. People with mental illness smoke cigarettes at higher rates than those without mental illness and substance abuse. But according to a study, smokers with mental illness are as motivated to quit smoking as the general population.