Tag Archives: Housing

Tobacco Use in Rural California: American Lung Association & CA4Health Release New Survey Results

Today, the American Lung Association and CA4Health released results from a survey of 12 rural California counties on tenants’ attitudes toward secondhand smoke in apartments and other multi-unit housing. These results show that tenants in rural communities are highly aware of the dangers of secondhand smoke and support protections against it in multi-unit housing. This survey found that 69% of rural tenants surveyed favor rules prohibiting smoking in outdoor common areas and 61% favor a ban on smoking inside apartment units.

Although California has many strong local tobacco control policies, rural California has not yet benefitted from the same protections as the rest of the state. However, this new survey shows that renters in these communities want the same protections. Read More »

Youth Succeed to Reconvene National City Smokefree Housing Taskforce after 13 Month Hiatus

Guest Blogger – Ofelia Alvarado, Advocacy Director, American Lung Association in California, San Diego

For two years (2008-2010), the American Lung Association in California staff worked intensely on outreach and education, providing trainings and a forum for National City community members and elected officials on drifting secondhand smoke in multi-unit housing. However, it was difficult for community members to be actively involved because of family obligations and lack of time. A few made public comments, but the idea of smokefree housing was a new frontier, and public officials’ reaction was cautionary.

We made a presentation at a neighborhood meeting which the Mayor attended. The clamor by attendees to do something obligated the Mayor to form the Smokefree Housing Taskforce in January 2010. It met sporadically for 2 years but unfortunately, without continued community pressure, the issue waned and action was stalled by the taskforce.

In 2009, youth advocates from the local high school led the effort to successfully pass a smokefree outdoor dining ordinance in National City. Could this same strategy work to have the taskforce reconvene? Read More »

We Have Resources for Your CX Process

Recently, I’ve started getting lots of questions about how many and which communities have passed various local tobacco control policies. This is all part of the CX process that local tobacco coalitions are in the middle of right now. At the Center for Tobacco Policy & Organizing, we produce a lot of documents that list the details of policies ranging from tobacco retailer licenses to secondhand smoke ordinances. In addition, we’ve done a lot of public opinion polling over the years, which might also be useful for your coalition to consider.

But with so much information, how do you all figure out what is available for each indicator? There are a lot of indicators, and we have resources for many of them. Here is a quick and dirty summary of some of the information you can find on our website: Read More »

Decrease Fire Hazards with Smokefree Multi-Unit Housing Policies

We talk a lot about the health benefits of smokefree multi-unit housing policies, but there are safety benefits as well. Last week, tossed cigarette butts triggered a Santa Rosa apartment complex fire resulting in approximately $200,000 in damages, leaving 58 residents without a place to stay. Tenants from one of the units had left their cigarette butts in a container, which later caught on fire during the night. Next to that container was a gallon of gasoline which ignited due to the fire created by the cigarette butts.

These fires are proving to be a common occurrence. In June, a cigarette caused a fire in a Castroville apartment complex, displacing 40 residents. In that same month, a discarded cigarette caused a Dinuba apartment complex fire, displacing 70 residents. In July, a cigarette butt caused a fire in a Campbell fourplex, displacing a few residents. These fires, caused by cigarettes, have all happened in just the past three months in California. Read More »

Smokfree Multi-Unit Housing: The Next Frontier

Over the past several years, cities and counties throughout the state have been tackling the policy mountain that is smokefree multi-unit housing (SF MUH), with great success. So much work has been done that we even saw an attempt to pass smokefree multi-unit housing at the state level with Assembly Member Marc Levine’s bill, AB 746. While that bill did not see success this year, Assembly Member Levine has vowed to bring it back during the next legislative session.

Meanwhile, SF MUH policies have been passing left and right at the local level. In fact we are up to more than 30 local policies statewide and even more voluntary policies. Recently, the Center profiled two different communities, who successfully passed SF MUH policies, in their latest Community Organizing Update. Check out some of the keys to their success by clicking here.

–Erin Reynoso