By: Jacey R. Foley, MAE—
Muncie, IN—The Tobacco Free Delaware County Coalition enthusiastically supports the recent ruling by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to require all public housing agencies to implement smoke-free policies for all residential units and common areas. The ruling will affect 30 housing authorities in Indiana, including Muncie. Housing authorities in East Chicago, Fort Wayne, Fremont, Indianapolis, Kendallville, Kokomo, Mishawaka, Mount Vernon, and Peru have already adopted smoke-free policies for their properties. Property owners will have up to 18 months to implement the new policy in their facilities.
“We salute HUD for its ruling on behalf of the health and well-being of low-income families,” said Adrian Leavell, President, Board of Commissioners, Muncie Housing Authority. “Our families often face a burden of unhealthy lifestyle habits, and this policy will remove the obstacle of secondhand smoke for those who choose to remain smoke-free.”
Secondhand smoke exposure is a serious health hazard, causing approximately 1,426 deaths annually in Indiana. In February 2015, a study by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) found that two in five children living in federal-subsidized housing are exposed to secondhand smoke.
Children breathing secondhand smoke often experience more ear infections, coughs and colds, tooth decay, headaches, and chronic severe illnesses such as bronchitis and pneumonia.
“Almost one quarter of adults living in Delaware County smoke. Often the tobacco industry targets those who have the least to spend, are at greatest risk for health complications, and those without choice when it comes to breathing in secondhand smoke. This is one huge step towards protecting adults and children in public housing and creating a healthier Delaware County,” said Jacey Foley, MAE, Director of Tobacco Control and Resources for Meridian Health Services and Coordinator, Tobacco Free Delaware County Coalition and a partner in the Healthy Community Alliance of Delaware and Blackford Counties. “The Muncie Housing Authority, Tobacco Free Delaware County Coalition partnership began many months ago. Working together with the staff, we are confident we will be able to provide resources to successfully implement this smoke-free housing policy and help those who would like, to quit for life.”
The American Lung Association in Indiana and Tobacco Free Delaware County Coalition are ready with resources to help properties go smoke-free. To lean more, visit our website, INsmokefreehousing.com, or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for free resources for quitting smoking.
The Tobacco Free Delaware County Coalition is seeking partnerships that will help to create a comprehensive wellness plan for the residents of the Muncie Housing Authority. For more information, please contact Mrs. Foley at 765-288-1928 x 5237.
Jacey R. Foley, MAE is Director, Tobacco Control & Resources at Meridian Health Services and Coordinator, Tobacco Free Delaware County Coalition