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
If you’re a smoker, make 2014 the year you quit smoking. Regardless, though, of whether you smoke, resolve to make your home smoke-free.
If you live in an apartment and your neighbor smokes, you may be exposed to secondhand smoke. According to the Surgeon General, there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. All apartment dwellers can encourage their buildings to adopt a smoke-free policy.
Our new infographic on “The Impact of Secondhand Smoke” won a Gold Award in the Print Category, one of The 2013 Communicator Awards, which are given by the International Academy of the Visual Arts. With over 6000 entries received from across the US and around the world, the Communicator Awards is the largest and most competitive awards program honoring the creative excellence for communications professionals.
Please feel free to share our new infographic. We’ve recently translated the infographic into Spanish and Chinese as well.
The Communicator Awards are judged and overseen by the International Academy of the Visual Arts (IAVA), a 600+ member organization of leading professionals from various disciplines of the visual arts dedicated to embracing progress and the evolving nature of traditional and interactive media. Current IAVA membership represents a “Who’s Who” of acclaimed media, advertising, and marketing firms including: AirType Studio, Condè Nast, Disney, Keller Crescent, Lockheed Martin, Monster.com, MTV, rabble+rouser, Time Inc., Tribal DDB, Yahoo!, and many others. See www.iavisarts.org for more information.
The NYC Coalition hopes that our award-winning infographic will help everyone understand that in a multiple dwelling, when one person smokes, the whole building smokes.
“Tobacco use is the epidemiological equivalent of a drive-by shooting – it hurts the innocent bystanders as well as those held captive by an addiction that damages their health.”
Dr. Margaret Chan, the Executive Director of the UN World Health Organization (WHO), said that at the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
Many parents have a no-smoking rule when it comes to the home. But if you live in an apartment and the neighbor upstairs lights up, is your child exposed to cigarette smoke? Absolutely.
Almost 500,000 NYC children and adults are involuntarily exposed to secondhand smoke in their homes. They inhale their neighbor’s cigarette smoke as it seeps through cracks and vents. Secondhand smoke can never be isolated. If you live near a smoker, secondhand smoke becomes your constant companion—and your child’s. On average, up to 60% of the air in multi-unit buildings is shared.
In the past year, the NYC Coalition for a Smoke-Free City has been receiving more calls on secondhand smoke in residential buildings than on any other tobacco control issue. The move towards more smoke-free housing options in NYC is a natural next step to protect the health of our families. One young mother, Aja, in Brooklyn shared her story with us:
Secondhand smoke filtering into their apartment was the last thing that soon-to-be mother Aja and husband Paul Thorburn thought about when they moved into their new home in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn, a year ago. Aja took a moment to share her story with the Coalition’s Brooklyn Smoke-Free Partnership:
“I was eight months pregnant when my husband and I moved into our apartment, unaware that a chain smoker lived directly below. I recalled smelling a hint of smoke when we first visited the unit, but was reassured by the realtor that it was probably one of the workmen doing repairs. After moving in, we started to smell strong cigarette smoke. The doorman informed us that the neighbor below us was a smoker, and the smoke has been the subject of many complaints.”
What did you do?
“I spoke with the neighbor and our management company. I even provided literature to our building on smoke-free housing, but nothing seemed to work. Our building purchased an air purifier for us; they also sent workers to caulk holes and vents. This helped somewhat, but at times, we still smelled the strong cigarette smoke.”
Ten years ago, 25.6% of adults in our country were smoking. In 2010, 19.3% of American adults were smoking. Fireworks will light up the skies of Independence Day, but let’s also celebrate because, across the nation, fewer people are lighting up, and more are choosing to live smoke-free.
There’s a momentum building around the country in support of smoke-free housing. According a new Quinnipiac poll, 59% of New Yorkers want to live in smoke-free apartment buildings. Building smoking policies would help educate New Yorkers about the smoke-free housing options that are available to them.