Study: Millions in the US exposed to neighbors’ secondhand smoke

USA Today (12/15, Koch, Szabo) reported that “nearly 29 million Americans who say they don’t smoke in their apartments may still be exposed to secondhand smoke that wafts in from elsewhere in the building, federal researchers report today.” The article said that “secondhand smoke can cause disease and premature death in non-smokers; it potentially affects about 44 million Americans who live in multi-unit housing each year, including 27.6 million to 28.9 million with smoke-free apartments or condos, according to the study by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” According to the article, “the study, published in the peer-reviewed Nicotine & Tobacco Research journal, says Census data taken between 2006 and 2009 indicate that one-quarter of Americans – or 79.2 million – live in multi-unit housing and about 62.7 million of them don’t smoke in their apartments,” adding, “that means 16.5 million do” smoke.

HealthDay (12/15, Reinberg) reported that Dr. Tim McAfee, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Office on Smoking and Health, said that “the best way to protect people living in apartments is by prohibiting smoking in all units and shared areas of a building.” He added that “this can be accomplished by state or city laws or by individual landlords,” according to the article.

Study: Almost 1M In Massachusetts exposed to secondhand smoke. The Boston Globe (12/15, Kotz) reported that “nearly 1 million Massachusetts residents who don’t smoke and live in apartments or attached houses are exposed regularly to cigarette smoke from their neighbors’ homes, according to a report released Friday by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” Moreover, the article noted that “nationally, about 45 percent of apartment dwellers – or 29 million Americans – are exposed to health risks from second-hand tobacco smoke, even though they enforce smoke-free rules in their own apartments.” According to the article, “the study, published in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research, provides the first estimates by public health officials of the number of Americans experiencing seepage of cigarette smoke into their homes through ventilation systems, loose floorboards, and windows.”

Bloomberg reportedly waging “secret war” on smoking inside apartments. In an article entitled, “Mayor’s ‘secret War’ On Smoking Inside Your Apartment,” the New York Post (12/17, Buiso) reported that “community groups are being asked to convince tenants and property managers to turn their private buildings into butt-free abodes – the latest front in the Health Department and Mayor Bloomberg’s anti-smoking crusade, according to a recently released ‘request for proposal’ document'” that the Post obtained. According to the document, a community group will get $10,000 to persuade property owners to ban smoking. The article said that “the secret salvo comes a year after the city banned smoking in parks and beaches, and after Bloomberg and Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said there were no plans to expand a butt ban to apartment buildings.” The Post added, “Released by the Health Department’s nonprofit arm, Partnership for a Healthier New York City, the document solicits ‘neighborhood contractors’ to ‘support and advance’ its agenda in four separate areas of concern: tobacco, alcohol, exercise and diet.'”

One Response to Study: Millions in the US exposed to neighbors’ secondhand smoke

  1. Nicole says:

    I hope there is a ban on smoking in condos and apartments! Why should i have to die because of someone’s nasty habits! I tried to get our condo building to go smoke free and the president of the condo building said no way” I can’t wait for the laws to be changed. Everyday i have to deal with smokers below my unit! I can’t even enjoy my home because of it! Please change it soon!

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