Online Program

Implementing an indoor smoke-free air policy in public housing: Lessons from a local public housing authority

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 8:30 a.m. - 8:50 a.m.

Katelin Ryan, M.A., Indiana State Dept. of Health - Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Commission, Indianapolis, IN
Jill Leal, MBA, BSW, Tobacco Free Allen County, Fort Wayne, IN
Amy Jacobowitz, CAM, PHM, Certified Asset Manager, Fort Wayne Housing Authority, Fort Wayne, IN
Tobacco control in Indiana has progressed despite limited funding and other difficulties. Smoking rates are declining, and the state has passed a smoke-free air law that covers most workplaces and public places. However, in addition to eliminating the current exemptions in the state law, the smoke-free air movement must address secondhand smoke exposure in the multi-unit housing population. Nearly half (45 percent) of multi-unit housing residents with a smoke-free home rule suffer from secondhand smoke infiltration from neighboring units. This session will provide a firsthand account of the collaboration between the Fort Wayne Housing Authority and the Tobacco Free Allen County coalition (located in Fort Wayne, Indiana) in adopting and implementing an indoor smoke-free air policy. Members of each group will discuss the steps they took to get the policy passed and how they worked together to implement the policy. The session will be complemented by a brief discussion of the different types of multi-unit housing.Some of the key lessons learned included seeking resident input, setting a timeline, conducting research and using existing resources, and determining the provisions of the policy. Some recommendations for adopting an indoor smoke-free air policy in public housing include:setting the implementation date to at least six months after the adoption of the policy; offering cessation resources to residents; connecting with other public housing authorities with an indoor smoke-free air policy; surveying residents to assess support for the smoke-free air policy;focusing messaging on health and improving financial bottom line.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Differentiate between public housing and other types of multi-unit housing. Explain the policy adoption process for local public housing authorities. Identify strategies to educate public housing authority policymakers on the benefits of adopting an indoor smoke-free air policy. Identify policy and media strategies to advocate for indoor smoke-free public housing. Identify messaging that resonates with public housing authority policymakers. Describe how to assist public housing authorities in implementing a smoke-free air policy.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Not Answered