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Florida Department of Health Encourages Residential Buildings to Go Smokefree

By Florida Department of Health in Broward, Public Information Office

June 30, 2016

June 29, 2016

Florida Department of Health in Broward is Encouraging Local Residential Buildings to Go Smokefree

- Smokefree Policies Can Protect Residents from Secondhand Smoke and Smoking-Related Fires -

Contact: Candy Sims, Public Information Officer 

(954) 467-4784 – candy.sims@flhealth.gov

(Broward County, FL) – Smokefree multiunit housing, a growing trend throughout the country, is making its way to Florida. Across the state, there are more than 1070 smokefree multiunit housing properties and 167,000 smokefree units.

“We encourage all property managers and owners to protect their tenants and consider smokefree policies,” said Dr. Paula Thaqi, M.D., Health Officer for the Florida Department of Health in Broward County.

45 residential properties in Broward County have implemented smokefree policies. An additional 60 residential properties have implemented smokefree policies in neighboring county Miami-Dade.

For property managers and landlords, smokefree policies can have economic benefits. More than 80% of Floridians are non-smokers.  Many people who do smoke do not permit smoking in their homes.  Given these numbers, many properties have very successfully marketed their smokefree policy as an amenity, not a restriction.  Smokefree policies can save money by eliminating the need to repair or replace carpeting, floors, fixtures, countertops or appliances damaged by burns or nicotine stains.  At the end of a lease, smokefree units require less turnover time due to fewer preparation and repainting needs. 

In one Florida survey of 421 managers of smokefree properties, 99.5 percent of the managers agreed that smokefree policies do not hurt occupancy and 30.1 percent believed that they increased occupancy.

Tobacco smoke can move along air ducts, through cracks in the walls and floors, through elevator shafts, and along plumbing and electrical lines affecting units that are nearby.[i],[ii]  Therefore, there are also numerous benefits for residents as tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, hundreds of which are toxic and at least 70 known to cause cancer.[iii] Exposure, even for short periods of time, can be dangerous.[iv]

The following are some of the reasons why it’s critical to protect tenants from exposure to secondhand smoke:

  • Secondhand smoke exposure is causally linked to heart disease, stroke, several cancers, lower respiratory illness, and impaired lung function.[v]
  • Each year, among U.S. nonsmokers, exposure to secondhand smoke causes an estimated 33,000 premature deaths from heart disease[vi] and about 3,400 premature deaths from lung cancer.[vii],[viii]
  • Nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke at home or at work increase their risk of developing heart disease by 25 to 30 percent and their risk of developing lung cancer by 20 to 30 percent.[ix]
  • Secondhand smoke can trigger an asthma attack. A severe asthma attack can put a child’s life in danger.[x]
  • In the first two years of life, children exposed to secondhand smoke have more than a 50 percent increased risk of getting bronchitis and pneumonia.[xi]
  • Infants exposed to secondhand smoke are at a greater risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).[xii] SIDS is the sudden, unexplained, unexpected death of an infant in the first year of life. SIDS is the leading cause of death in otherwise healthy infants.[xiii]

 

Secondhand smoke is not the only danger associated with tobacco use at home.  Smoking-related fires are the leading cause of fire deaths in residential buildings.[xiv] These fires are eight times more likely to result in death than fires that start from another source. Smoking-related fires in residential buildings result in an average of approximately 365 deaths, 925 injuries, and $326 million in property loss each year.[xv]

For more information, visit tobaccofreeflorida.com/smokefreehousing.

ABOUT TOBACCO FREE FLORIDA

The Department’s Tobacco Free Florida campaign is a statewide cessation and prevention campaign funded by Florida’s tobacco settlement fund. Tobacco users interested in quitting are encouraged to use one of the state’s free cessation services. Since 2007, more than 137,000 Floridians have successfully quit, using one of the free services. To learn more about Tobacco Free Florida and the state’s free quit resources, visit www.tobaccofreeflorida.com or follow the campaign on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TobaccoFreeFlorida or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/tobaccofreefla.

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About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.



[i] Office of the Surgeon General. The Surgeon General’s call to action to promote healthy homes. Washington, DC: Department of Health and Human Services, 2009.    

[ii] Public Health Service, Office of the Surgeon General. Children and secondhand smoke exposure: excerpts from The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: a report of the Surgeon General. 2007.

[iii] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking-Attributable Disease: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2010.

[iv] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Coordinating Center for Health Promotion, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2006

[v]  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress. A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2014. Printed with corrections, January 2014.

[vi]  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress. A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2014. Printed with corrections, January 2014.

[vii] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Smoking-Attributable Mortality, Years of Potential Life Lost, and Productivity Losses—United States, 2000–2004. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2008;57(45):1226–8 [accessed 2013 June 10].

[viii] American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts and Figures 2013.  Atlanta: American Cancer Society, 2013 [accessed 2013 Feb 10].

[ix] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Coordinating Center for Health Promotion, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2006

[x] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. ―The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General.‖ U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2006

[xi] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. ―The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General.‖ U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2006

[xii] Anderson, H.R. and D.G. Cook. 1997. Health Effects of Passive Smoking-2: Passive Smoking and Sudden Infant

[xiii] American Academy of Pediatrics, Task Force on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The Changing Concept of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome: Diagnostic Coding Shifts; Controversies Regarding the Sleeping Environment; and New Variables to Consider in Reducing Risk. Pediatrics 2005;116(5):1245–55 [cited 2013 June 10].

[xiv] 2010 report by the  U.S. Fire Administration (USFA)

[xv] U.S. Fire Administration. (USFA)Smoke-Related Fires in Residential Buildings Report (2008-2010). http://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/statistics/v13i6.pdf.