Smoke-Free Apartments on the Rise in Long Beach

Take a deep breath, because it looks like your chances of finding smoke-free housing in Long Beach have greatly improved since a time as recent as 2008.

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Smoke-free apartments are gradually increasing in Long Beach to significant levels, a survey conducted by the Long Beach Health Department shows. In fact, 48 percent of Long Beach apartments are now smoke-free, up from a wee 16 percent in 2008, according to the survey.

“We know that raising children in smoke-free environments lowers their risk of health problems like asthma and bronchitis,” said Kelly Colopy, director of health and human services in a statement. “Owners who choose a smoke-free policy are making a major investment in the health and safety of our residents

The survey was conducted earlier this year by phone by the Health Department’s Tobacco Education Program, in partnership with the Apartment Association of California Southern Cities (AACSC), according to a release issued by the department. The survey asked 362 apartment owners and managers what their smoking policies consisted of.

The Health Department actively encourages apartments to go smoke-free, noting the risks that multi-unit housing structures (apartments and condos) create when it comes to "drifting smoke" within the complexes, an issue the department describes as a “significant health concern in Long Beach.”

“It was a pleasure to hear that so many of our landlords and property managers responded positively to going smoke-free in their apartments,” said Johanna Cunningham, executive director of the Apartment Association of California Southern Cities. “This survey was a good example of the interest and success of having smoke-free options for residents.”

In addition to reducing drifting smoke, the health department cited other benefits to decreased smoking in apartments, including reduced fire risk, savings on turnover costs and decreased cigarette butt litter, asserting that smoke-free policies are beneficial for both tenants and owners alike.

The Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services offers free assistance to any Long Beach apartment owners or property managers who are interested in making their properties smoke-free. To request a free smoke-free apartment toolkit or presentation for management staff, contact Tobacco Education Program Coordinator Eipryl Tello at 562.570.7955 or visit www.longbeach.gov/health.



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