Smoke-Free Multi-Unit Housing
COVID-19 & SMOKE-free multi-unit housing: Are you at Risk?
COVID-19 attacks the lungs. Living smokefree has never been more important. Even if you don’t smoke or vape, someone in your building might. It is always important to look after the health and well-being of our communities. But especially now when lung health is key, it’s important to keep you and your home safe.
If you are being exposed to secondhand smoke, there are things you can do:
- Be compassionate. Remember they are probably dealing with extraordinary stress too, which can make it hard to give up smoking or vaping. Patience, kindness and support is something all of us need right now.
- Empathize. This pandemic has drastically changed all of our lives. Try to understand why they are smoking or vaping. Are they smoking or vaping because they’re worried about how to get groceries or because they lost their job? Even just an offer of help with something small can be a welcome gesture.
- Reach out with a Wellness Postcard. This could be the time to practice being a good neighbor, and reaching out might help. It doesn’t take much to give someone a better outlook during these unsettling times. Even just a simple friendly note might give them the extra encouragement to make healthy choices. TobaccoFreeCA offers this ’wellness’ postcard as a way to share overall health and wellness tips and information on the California Smokers’ Helpline, which helps people quit smoking and vaping with personalized support, and it’s free!
Secondhand smoke exposure in Multi-unit dwellings such as apartments and condominiums is unfortunately both common and also dangerous for you and your family. Secondhand smoke can drift into units through windows, doors, walls, hallways, and air ducts. This includes children, elderly, and people with disabilities.
- More than 1 in 3 nonsmokers who live in rental housing are exposed to secondhand smoke. (CDC VitalSigns: Secondhand Smoke an Unequal Danger)
- More than 2 in 5 nonsmokers who live below the poverty level are exposed to secondhand smoke. (CDC VitalSigns: Secondhand Smoke an Unequal Danger)
The smoke from tobacco products sticks to indoor surfaces such as walls, windows, furniture, and floors. It does not simply blow away. All tobacco products, including but not limited to cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, and smokeless tobacco have been shown to leave nicotine and/or smoke residue in indoor environments. (CDPH Thirdhand Smoke)
- Thirdhand smoke changes over time and becomes progressively more toxic.
- Long-term exposure to pollutants in thirdhand smoke has been shown to damage human cells and DNA.
- Children who live in apartments show a higher level of exposure to tobacco chemicals.
- Infants and children spend more time indoors, and Babies may ingest the chemicals in thirdhand smoke when they put toys or household objects in their mouth, and when they crawl or play on the floor.
For more information contact the Tobacco Education Program staff at 209-966-3689.
Resource: © 2017 CDPH CTCP "Secondhand Smoke in Multi-Unit Housing"
Resource: © 2017 CDPH CTCP "Thirdhand Smoke in Multi-Unit Housing"