Apartment owners in Long Beach are increasingly providing smoke-free environments for their tenants, according to a new survey conducted by the Long Beach Health Department. Forty-eight percent of apartments are smoke-free, up from just 16 percent in 2008.
“We know that raising children in smoke-free environments lowers their risk of health problems like asthma and bronchitis,” said Kelly Colopy, Director of Health and Human Services. “Owners who choose a smoke-free policy are making a major investment in the health and safety of our residents.”
The Health Department’s Tobacco Education Program in partnership with the Apartment Association of California Southern Cities (AACSC) conducted the telephone survey of 362 apartment owners and managers earlier this year.
With over half of Long Beach residential units situated within multi-unit housing structures (i.e. apartments and condos), the issue of drifting smoke in apartments is a significant health concern in Long Beach.
In addition to health benefits, smoke-free policies also offer other benefits such as reduced fire risk, savings on turnover costs, and decreased cigarette butt litter, making these policies beneficial for both tenants and owners alike.
“It was a pleasure to hear that so many of our landlords and property managers responded positively to going smoke-free in their apartments,” said Johanna Cunningham, Executive Director of the Apartment Association of California Southern Cities. “This survey was a good example of the interest and success of having smoke-free options for residents.”
The Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services offers free assistance to any Long Beach apartment owners or property managers who are interested in making their properties smoke-free. To request a free smoke-free apartment toolkit or presentation for management staff, contact Tobacco Education Program Coordinator Eipryl Tello at 562.570.7955 or visit www.longbeach.gov/health