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Protect loved ones from smoking

TimesLedger Newspapers

Our home is our refuge, an investment and the place where our families grow, but it can also be the place where our children’s lungs are first introduced to secondhand smoke by smokers who live in the building.

We know secondhand smoke can exacerbate asthma and increase the risk of heart disease and lung cancer, and that children, seniors and people with chronic health conditions are particularly susceptible.

By urging landlords, co-op boards and condominium associations to disclose their anti-smoking policies to residents and prospective tenants and buyers, New Yorkers will better understand their risk of exposure by being informed of their building’s smoking policies.

The goal is not to ban smoking in residences but inform prospective tenants what they may be exposed to.

The city’s support of tobacco-control efforts has contributed to record-low rates of smoking in the city and protects thousands of individuals in our most vulnerable populations. But as they spend more time at home and are exposed to secondhand smoke through their home environment, children and seniors continue to be among the most vulnerable.

Informing prospective tenants and buyers whether smoking is allowed inside apartments as well as on balconies, courtyards and rooftops would be the next step in protecting our children and elderly.

Fifty-nine percent of New Yorkers support smoke-free housing. Asking the building’s landlords, co-op board or condo association to outline whether or not it is a smoke-free building allows individuals to know whether they are moving into a smoke-free environment.

Have this conversation with the landlord or governing board of your building. Your efforts will help in reducing secondhand smoke exposure for your family and your neighbor’s family.

Joan Bush

North Shore-LIJ Health System

Great Neck, L.I.

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