Online Program

Smoke-free housing technical assistance trainings

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Sheelah Feinberg, MSA, NYC Coalition for a Smoke-Free City, New York, NY
Sean Robin, MCP, Built Environment & Healthy Housing, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Long Island City, NY
Introduction: The NYC Coalition for a Smoke-Free City partnered with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to promote voluntary smoke-free policies among local multifamily housing providers through a series of technical assistance forums in 2012.

Methods: Forums were held in three of the five boroughs of New York City. The forums were promoted with communications materials (flyers, letters, and targeted phone calls) sent to building owners and non-profit housing providers. At the forums we presented best practices, tool-kits, and sample lease language for building owners to feel confident taking their buildings voluntarily smoke-free. Our unique approach of combining technical assistance with building owners allowed for discussion around the health and economic impacts of smoke-free housing, and the eventual commitment of some building owners to go smoke-free.

Results: 150 people representing 20 organizations attended the technical assistance sessions. 15 of these organizations have since supported our work around smoke-free housing.

Conclusions: Working with property managers and owners represented a shift in approach for increasing the amount of smoke-free housing. Previously, we focused on a client based model responding to individuals with complaints about secondhand smoke. Often, these situations were contentious within an apartment building. By proactively reaching out to buildings and providing technical/legal assistance forums, building owners felt comfortable and supportive of smoke-free housing. Furthermore, understanding the legal language helped them decide to take action. Overall, this model of technical and legal assistance to interested housing providers assisted our work to increase smoke-free housing options in New York City.

Learning Areas:

Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Discuss smoke-free housing with a property manager or building owner Describe the health and economic impacts of smoke-free housing Explain the process of a building going smoke-free.

Keyword(s): Smoking, Housing

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I assumed the role of executive director of the NYC Coalition for a Smoke-Free City in the fall of 2010. During my tenure, I have overseen work that has added over 1,500 units of smoke-free housing in New York City, and I supervised the coordination of the technical assistance forums described in this abstract.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.