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Support For Protection From Secondhand Smoke

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San Andreas, CA — Calaveras Public Health Services and Tuolumne County Public Health Department released results of a new survey showing tenants in multi-unit housing support limits on secondhand smoke exposure.

Sixty-four percent of Calaveras County tenants and 59% of Tuolumne County residents favored prohibiting smoking in outdoor common areas of complexes. Fifty-six percent of Calaveras County tenants and 63% of Tuolumne County residents favored prohibiting smoking inside apartment units.

Tuolumne County Health Officer Dr. Todd Stolp says, “Making smoke-free multi-unit housing available to the public is common sense public health and can result in financial benefits to landlords and owners through reduced maintenance and turnover costs.”

Calaveras County Health Officer Dr. Dean Kelaita says, “It is not surprising that so many tenants want to be protected from secondhand smoke exposure in the apartments where they live.” Almost 29% of Calaveras tenants and 33% of Tuolumne tenants surveyed report currently living in a building with secondhand smoke drifting into their unit in the past year.

Calaveras County does not have any local ordinances that restrict multi-unit secondhand smoke exposure. State law prohibits smoking inside apartment common areas such as laundry rooms and community rooms. In 2006, the California Air Resources Board classified secondhand smoke as a “Toxic Air Contaminant” in the same category as asbestos, cyanide and arsenic.

The survey was conducted by phone in 12 counties by the American Lung Association CA4Health, a project of the Public Health Institute, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.