A call for smoke-free collective housing – Red Bluff Daily News



This past year has shown us how important it is to protect our lung health. Smoking weakens our immune system and our body’s ability to fight infections such as COVID-19. Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to spend more time at home than ever before.

Some residents of apartments, condos and other multi-unit buildings have reported an increase in second-hand smoke, but there is still no municipal ordinance in Tehama County protecting residents from second-hand smoke in multiple-unit buildings.

According to the US Surgeon General, there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Second-hand smoke can enter non-smoking units through windows, doors and ventilation systems. Smoking in multi-unit apartment buildings also increases the risk of fires, which are the leading cause of death from residential fires in the United States.

Breathing second-hand smoke can cause serious health problems. Adults are more likely to develop lung cancer, heart disease, and stroke. Children exposed to second-hand smoke are more likely to suffer from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and tend to have asthma attacks, ear infections, and more serious lung problems. In addition, children who are exposed to second-hand smoke have more school absences, especially those with asthma.

A recent survey of residents of Tehama County showed that 82% support a ban on smoking in multi-unit housing complexes, and 66% support a ban on smoking on the entire property, including included inside individual units, patios and common areas. This indicates that residents want smoke-free housing and are concerned about the health of their community.

Eliminating smoking in multi-unit housing is the only way to protect multi-unit residents from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke. As chair of the Tehama County Smoking Prevention Coalition, thank you for your time and consideration.

– Andrea Martin, Red Bluff

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