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Puffing in public housing poses serious health risks to tenants
Date:6/17/2010

However, right now, free smoking cessation services are available in all 50 states though their smoking quitlines.

"Rather than prohibiting smokers from inhabiting public housing units, prohibiting the act of smoking on the premises would minimize the ethical concerns relating to a smoking ban," says Mello. "This type of policy would encourage smokers to quit, since only those who continued to smoke on the premises would be required to move out."

Creating and maintaining smoke-free living space that encourages smoking cessation not only provides a healthy environment for children as they grow, it discourages them from picking up the habit, Mello explains. "When children see smoking in and around their homes, it normalizes the behavior for them. Research shows that no-smoking policies in the home lead to lower smoking initiation rates by teens." Americans living below the poverty level are 1.6 times more likely to smoke; adopting a smoke-free policy in public housing units encourages inhabitants to "fight back" against the intense tobacco marketing that exists in low-income neighborhoods.

"As we move forward and further explore public housing policy, it is important to remember that the status quo is not acceptable for America's children," says Winickoff. "Each child deserves a healthy start, and we can help provide this by encouraging smoke-free home environments."


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Contact: Valerie Wencis
vwencis@partners.org
617-726-0274
Massachusetts General Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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