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Rising Demand for Smoke-Free Housing in New York Leads to Expanded Website

(Binghamton, NY) – Tobacco Free Broome & Tioga, together with 34 community partners of the New York State Tobacco Control Program, launched the newly enhanced website. First created in August 2008, this website has now been expanded in response to the growing need to provide accurate and current information to New York property owners and tenants on handling the issue of drifting tobacco smoke in multi-unit housing. Among the new additions are a toolkit for landlords, guides for condo owners and tenants and a section dedicated to affordable and public housing. 

“Most landlords understand the cost savings and health benefits of having a no-smoking policy but are often hesitant to go smoke-free because they think the process will be just too difficult,” said Sharon Fischer, Coordinator, Tobacco Free Broome & Tioga. “The resources on this website were created to give landlords the step-by-step tools to successfully adopt and enforce a no-smoking policy. We encourage all property owners considering smoke-free housing policies to visit the website and contact us for additional support.”  
Through the re-launched website, visitors will be able to:
§         Learn the benefits of a no-smoking policy.
§         Download a step-by-step landlord toolkit to implement a no-smoking policy, including tenant surveys, sample letters and lease language.
§         Download a tenant guide for those seeking relief from second hand smoke.
§         Access documents to address legal concerns.
§         Get updated news on smoke-free housing.
§         Advertise smoke-free properties for free through Rentlinx.
§         Contact a local community coalition for assistance.
Increasingly aware of the dangers of secondhand smoke, New Yorkers are choosing to live in smoke-free homes. This is true of smokers as well as non-smokers. According to a recent report released by the New York State Tobacco Control Program, 64.2% of smokers with children state that their homes are 100% smoke-free.[1] Unfortunately, for those living in multi-unit housing, exposure to secondhand smoke is dependent not only on what they do but what their neighbor chooses to do. The same report also shows that over 43% of non-smoking adults living in multi-unit housing experience secondhand smoke exposure in their home.
Myrtle Woodford, a resident at Wells Apartments, a SEPP, Inc. owned building that went smoke free in 2008 stated, “I am a non-smoker and I don’t want to breathe second hand smoke. Before our building went smoke free, all the halls and elevators smelled of smoke. It has given me more control over my own health to not breathe second hand smoke.”
In response to this desire for smoke-free living, a growing number of market-rate, public and affordable housing property owners have chosen to adopt smoke-free housing policies. Tobacco Free Broome & Tioga has worked with several property owners adopting smoke-free policies over the past few years.
Tobacco Free Broome & Tioga is funded by the New York State Department of Health Bureau of Tobacco Use Prevention and Control. The goal of the TCP is to increase the capacity of Bureau funded partners to change tobacco policies and social norms. Tobacco Free Broome & Tioga is dedicated to building healthier communities through tobacco-free living and subscribes to the recommended CDC Conceptual Framework and Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs guidelines.             




[1] New York State Department of Health. 2011. Key Tobacco Control Outcome Indicators.
12/05/2011 - 2:23pm