Protect Local Control

Ensuring Community Rights
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Action Alert

Californians, do you support smokefree air in apartments and condominiums?

Publication Date: 4/12/2013

Californians, do you support smokefree air in apartments and condominiums? Click here for online version

If you live in an apartment or condominium, you may be all too familiar with having to breathe a neighbor’s tobacco smoke that enters your home.

The California legislature is considering Assembly Bill 746 to prohibit smoking in all multi-unit housing in the state, including apartments, condominiums, and other attached housing.

The bill has a hearing this Wednesday, April 17 in the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee.

Assembly Bill 746 would bring a breath of fresh air to California residents who are exposed to secondhand smoke against their will in their homes. The CDC estimates that nearly 5 million California multi-unit housing residents keep a smokefree home, but are still exposed to their neighbor’s toxic secondhand smoke.

No one wants their family to get sick from their neighbor’s drifting smoke.

A smokefree building creates a healthier, safer living environment by reducing secondhand smoke exposure and fire risk. It’s important to know that a smokefree buildingdoes not mean that people who smoke have to quit and it does not require people who smoke to move out. People who smoke simply need to step outdoors to smoke, as they already do for offices, restaurants, bars, and other enclosed places.

How can you support smokefree housing?

1.Please call or email your Assembly member and encourage them to support AB 746. Share why you believe all multi-unit housing in California should be smokefree.  It’s especially influential if you have a personal story to share. You can look up your Assembly member and his/her contact information at http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/.

arrow blue round You can also share your story using the American Lung Association’s online form.

2.Send this email to neighbors, family, friends, co-workers, and organizations that you belong to. It is important to have people living in multi-unit buildings speak up in support of protecting the health and safety of everyone in their building.

Additional information:

A smokefree building makes sense because people in shared housing share the air.

The US Surgeon General confirmed that exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke can have both short and long term health impacts, especially for people with existing health conditions like asthma, heart disease, and cancer.

Smoking in multi-unit housing is a significant public health concern because secondhand smoke does not stay in the smoker’s unit. Studies show that smoke can drift through multi-unit buildings, where it becomes a nuisance and health risk to other residents. Smoking in multi-unit housing is also a major risk for fires.

Smokefree multi-unit housing is a growing trend in California and around the country, in condominiums, apartments, as well as affordable housing. Nearly 30 California cities and counties have led the way by adopting laws to restrict or prohibit smoking in multi-unit housing, and Public Housing Authorities and individual buildings throughout the state are also deciding to go smokefree. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) now supports and strongly encourages smokefree policies for housing authorities, senior housing, Section 8, and other HUD-funded multi-unit housing.

Thank you for speaking up in favor of everyone’s right to breathe smokefree air.