Representatives of Meridian public housing, MS, told that they push for a healthy environment for its residents and therefore they adopted a smoke-free policy necessary to reduce people’s exposure to secondhand smoke.
According to Meridian Housing Authority Executive Director Ron Turner, the housing authority banned tobacco use inside all its six public housing units back in 2012. Turner is happy with the results of this ban.
He also told that the majority of residents welcomed the initiative and showed their support for it, because they understand that secondhand smoke exposure is bad for them. Besides this, smoking ban helped to reduce costs for units maintenance as previously the housing authority used to spend a lot of money on changing filters and repainting apartments after smokers.
These days smoking residents living in a Meridian public housing can light up only outside at a distance 25 feet from residence. Smoking is not allowed inside the building. Turner told that they are first housing authority in the state to adopt such a smoke-free policy.
The policy was adopted not as easy as it may seem. There were organized several meetings with residents, city officials and community leaders to allow them express their opinions. Besides this, Tobacco Free Project Director Sabrina Wilson provided information for residents about effects of secondhand smoke exposure.
She told that residents found out in details the info about how smoke from a cigarette travels from smoker’s apartment to other units via ventilation systems and electrical sockets.
Smoking ban inside apartments deals with two major things: it protects people’s health and protects units from fires.
Wilson said that Meridian shows a great example to other housing authorities. Carousel Place Apartments recently adopted a similar ban.