Tobacco Free CNY wants to bring awareness about how air quality in apartment buildings may become compromised during the cold winter months when tenants smoke indoors. It’s estimated that up to 65% of the air in multi-unit housing is being distributed through shared ventilation and heating systems.
Coordinator Karen Johnson says the cold weather tends to bring smokers indoors.
“May be they usaually go out to smoke but now they are trying to stay in because its colder outside. I want to try and remind that the risk of second hand smoke continue. Even though its colder outside, you are still affecting your family members and the others in your building, if you’re smoking indoors,” said Johnson
She’s encouraging smokers to take things outside. If smoke is bothersome to individuals where they’re living inside, Johnson says it’s important to document the times it’s happening in order to report it to a landlord.
"Have a conversation with the landlord to see if other arrangement can be made. If there are things that the landlord would consider implementing because they do have a right if it is affecting their health to do something about that.”
Sometimes there are defined "no smoking" policies for tenants and dedicated smoking areas outside.
“Not only does it eliminate second hand smoke exposure but you going to save money as far as cleaning of the apartment, increase demand for the property and also decrease the risks of fires because they are finding that smoking is one of the leading causes for multi-unit housing fires. We are encouraging if landlords are interested in persuing some thing like this to reach out to our program and we actually have resources available to help with implementing a smoke-free policy in multi-unit housing,” said Johnson.
The organization can help landlords to develop "no smoking" policies including where it’s permittable outside. Johnson says E-cig users might not think twice about what effect it has on others when vaping indoors. She says the liquids contain chemicals and there are still a lot of unknowns about the overall health risks. Tobacco Free CNY can be reached at (315) 435-3280.