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King County housing providers set no smoking policies for properties
A release from King County announced nine county housing providers—including Seattle Housing Authority, King County Housing Authority, and Housing Resources Group—are developing no-smoking policies for their properties.
The clean air transition will benefit residents living in more than 9,000 units across King County.
The new policies will prohibit smoking inside buildings, and will also include patios and balconies. The policies do not require that residents quit smoking or prohibit people who smoke from moving in.
The policies were adopted with support from Public Health – Seattle & King County and Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW), as part of a larger effort to reduce chronic disease by increasing access to healthy places.
Housing providers underwent a comprehensive planning process in advance of policy implementation, including surveys of residents, meetings with building management and staff, and resident meetings to explain the new policies. In July, properties will officially begin converting units to smoke-free.
According to King County press rlease, 77 percent of renters prefer smoke-free housing—including over half of people who smoke—yet only 35 percent of renters report that they live in buildings with no-smoking policies.
No-smoking policies are on the rise across King County and the nation, and the trend includes low-income, market-rate, and public housing. More than 230 housing authorities in 27 states have already implemented no-smoking policies in some or all of their buildings.
Several non-profit and community-based organizations are credited with implementing these policies that address the health and safety of residents in buildings that serve lower-income communities and people of color. For example, the Asian Pacific Islander Coalition Against Tobacco is working with Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation Development Association (SCIDpda) and InerIm Housing to make approximately 400 units smoke-free by July 2011.