Smoke-Free Housing: A Resolution in Queens

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:

S.Cerezo_QNS CB11 Health CoChair

Susan Cerezo, Queens CB 11 Health Committee Co-Chair

Smoke-Free Housing.

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

Smoke-Free Housing: The Healthy Choice

SmokeFreeLogoColorNew 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.

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2014: Smoke-Free is the Way to Be

imgresIf 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.

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Award-Winning Infographic on Secondhand Smoke Now Available in Three Languages

PrintOur 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.

Zeckendorf Towers Becomes Largest Smoke-Free Condo in City, Possibly the Nation

zeckendorftowers1-300x250Today marks another New York City milestone.  Homeowners in Zeckendorf Towers, the 647-unit building that led the revitalization of Union Square more than 20 years ago, voted overwhelmingly to become the largest private smoke-free residential property–including condominium, cooperative and rental buildings—in New York City, and possibly the entire nation.

The building’s board first began to explore going smoke-free in 2010, following numerous complaints from residents about cigarette smoke. After confirming that they could legally prohibit smoking by amending the building’s bylaws, the board partnered with the Manhattan Smoke-Free Partnership, part of the NYC Coalition for a Smoke-Free City, that supports the efforts of buildings adopting smoke-free policies.

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Watch NEW Smoke-Free Housing Strategies in NYC

Please watch and share this presentation by the NYC Coalition and our partners at Asian Americans for Equality, the Community Service Society of New York, and the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) as they discuss the growing trend of smoke-free housing.

“Smoke-Free Housing: A Guide for Residents of New York City” is presented by the Community Service Society of New York.

“Making Room to Breathe: A Case Study of Smoke-Free Housing in NYC” is Asian Americans for Equality’s (AAFE) case study of their experience working with tenants to make two of their residential properties smoke-free.

Finally, NYPIRG presents how to integrate the new materials into new and existing programs.

Smoke-Free Housing Strategies in New York City

On Wednesday, February 27, the Coalition was joined by over sixty community leaders, housing organizations, and public health advocates for “Smoke-Free Housing Strategies in New York City” – a workshop designed to increase awareness around secondhand smoke at home and what some organizations are doing to reduce exposure.

Making RoomSpecifically, two new resources were released:   Asian Americans for Equality presented on “Making Room to Breathe: A Case Study of Smoke-Free Housing in NYC” and the Community Service Society of New York (CSSNY) presented their new  Smoke Free Housing Guide for Residents of New York City.  As a non-profit housing provider with a long history of tenants advocacy work, AAFE worked with the Coalition to make two of its properties smoke-free.  Notably, the case study also addresses working within the confines of rent stabilization laws to promote healthier, smoke-free homes.

Through their community education and outreach Smoke-Free Housingwork, CSSNY recognized a gap of information and created a concise and accessible guide to smoke-free housing for multiunit housing residents.  Previously, most of the Coalition’s work around smoke-free housing involved outreach to building owners and property managers.  We were thrilled to partner with CSSNY to increase awareness of and support for smoke-free housing among residents here in New York City.

Finally, the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) presented on community education strategies specific to the release of these two new materials.  Far too often, community organizations develop content such as reports, infographics, or videos that do not reach as broad of an audience as they could.  NYPIRG suggested that Coalition partners engage community boards, decision makers, non-profits, tenant associations, and local media to make sure these resources are widely disseminated.  They even gave a great example of how they would integrate their own messaging into an outreach strategy on college campuses: “200,000 NYC youth are exposed involuntarily to secondhand smoke at home.  That’s almost as many students there are in the entire CUNY system!”

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