Candlewood Court, the newly opened 40-apartment complex in Richmondville, is doing its part to help residents live healthy. Housing Visions Unlimited, Inc., the project developer, has deemed the premises as smoke-free. Tenants and visitors may not smoke anywhere in rented units or the building where the tenant’s dwelling is located or in any of the common areas or adjoining grounds. The smoke free facility also covers the outdoor area within twenty-five feet from the building.

Advancing Tobacco Free Communities in Delaware, Otsego and Schoharie Counties (ATFC-DOS) worked with Housing Visions to incorporate the smoke-free conditions into apartment leases and recently provided property manager, Robert Holt, with signs and window clings to post around the apartment facility. ATFC-DOS educates the community and decision makers, mobilizes community members around the problems that tobacco addiction causes in local communities, and helps decision makers understand the types of  choices that they have to address these problems.

According to Mr. Holt “We want to provide a healthy and safe environment for all of our tenants whether they be young singles, growing families or retired folks. Candlewood Court’s no-smoking policy aims to mitigate the irritation and known health effects of secondhand smoke, the increased maintenance, cleaning and redecorating costs from smoking, the increased risk of fire from smoking and the high costs of fire insurance for a non-smoke free building.”

Preventing and reducing tobacco use are important public health actions that can be taken to improve the health of New Yorkers.

Smoke-free housing policies benefit everyone. In buildings that have multiple housing units, secondhand smoke can move from unit to unit through hallways, stairwells, heating and air conditioning systems, and other ways. More than one in three nonsmokers who live in rental housing are exposed to secondhand smoke.

Exposure to secondhand smoke is harmful. In adult nonsmokers, it causes heart disease, lung cancer, and other diseases. It can also result in premature death. About 41,000 nonsmoking adults die from heart disease and lung cancer every year because of secondhand smoke.

Children who breathe in secondhand smoke are more likely to get sick, including respiratory and ear infections. Secondhand smoke can cause sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Secondhand smoke kills more than 400 infants from SIDS each year.