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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health
Building capacity for a tobacco-free world
July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA
Objective: California has seen significant progress in reducing exposure to secondhand smoke indoors as well as some outdoor areas. The next frontier is to adopt smoke-free multi-unit housing. Access to smoke-free apartments for low income renters is negligible. Nearly 24% of California renters live below the poverty line. A recent poll showed that 69% of renters want apartments to offer non-smoking sections, and 67% of apartment managers and owners would consider designating smoke-free units. A statewide multi-unit housing campaign has been initiated that will facilitate at least 10 ordinances passed in CA by 2010 that would require new and existing multi-unit rental housing to designate a percent of non-smoking units.
Methods: A statewide smoke-free multi-unit housing steering committee has been formed consisting of experts in smoke-free housing, policy, legal, advocacy and media, who meet regularly to develop and implement strategies for local community based organizations and health departments to adopt. These strategies include training and technical assistance, development of educational brochures, tool kits and sample ordinances, and ads for placement in appropriate print, radio and television. Relationships will be established with state housing agencies, landlord and real estate groups and other housing advocacy organizations regarding smoke-free multi-unit housing's benefits. Finally, research will be completed to assess the positive economic impact of smoke-free multi-unit housing.
Results: Californians have recognized the benefits of smoke-free air where they work and play. This campaign will provide further justification that is necessary to acknowledge that they can be smoke-free where they live as well.