As many as 29 million U.S. apartment dwellers who have no smoking rules for their own homes are exposed to secondhand smoke seeping in from neighboring apartments and common areas, reported The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). The study was the first to estimate how many Americans are at risk from secondhand smoke because they live in apartments.
Exposure to secondhand smoke in apartments is not something an apartment dweller can control. Even if you have a smoke-free home rule, if you live in an apartment building, you are being involuntarily exposed to secondhand smoke from neighbors who smoke.
51.7% of New York State residences are in multi-unit dwellings, the highest percentage in the country. In NYC, almost 500,000 adults and children are exposed to secondhand smoke at home. The best way to protect people living in apartments is to have the building voluntarily adopt a smoke-free policy.
We already know that secondhand smoke kills 42,000 Americans each year, including nearly 900 infants. The CDC study indicated that one-third of those who are at risk from secondhand smoke because they live in apartments are either children or seniors over 65—two groups especially likely to become sick from secondhand smoke.
In NYC, 70 percent of residences are in multi-unit housing. Our children and seniors are at risk, especially in New York City where many of us live in apartment buildings.
Nearly 60% of New York City voters already want to live in a smoke-free apartment building. We encourage apartment buildings to voluntarily go smoke-free so we don’t have to be involuntarily exposed to secondhand smoke.
We believe that smoke-free housing is the next natural step in protecting the health of New Yorkers. Our work is not done. The Coalition is committed to increasing the number of apartments, condos and co-ops in our city that are 100% smoke-free.
This seminal research proves that our work will saves lives as we promote voluntary smoke-free housing and provide New Yorkers with more smoke-free housing options.
Our city’s most vulnerable should not have to be involuntarily exposed to secondhand smoke. All New Yorkers have the right to breathe clean, smoke-free air where they live, work and play.