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HUD in Gary, Hammond and E.C. providing smoke-free kits

Updated: June 19, 2012 10:07PM



GARY — HUD officials Tuesday rolled out their Smoke-Free Housing Toolkits, an attempt to reduce the effects of second hand smoke on residents in public housing and other multi-family units.

Officials from the Gary, Hammond and East Chicago housing authorities, which thrive on federal funding, could not be reached for comment after the announcement.

The initiative has no enforcement mechanisms tied to future funding, and agencies, including private property owners, are not required to use the toolkits.

The kits, boosted by colorful graphics and designed for building owners, agencies, residents and private home owners, feature tips on smoking cessation, the dangers of second hand smoke, laws on smoking in pubic housing and where to go for more help.

The kits for public housing residents includes information on organizing other residents to cut down on second hand smoke in facilities.

Sandra Henriquez, a HUD assistant secretary, joined physician Howard Koh, of the federal Health and Human Services and the heads of the American Lung Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and a Norfolk (Va.) Redevelopment and Housing Authority for the conference call for the announcement made to media nationwide.

Henriquez said her department often hears complaints from residents in housing authorities on how second hand smoke interferes with their lives and affects their children’s health.

The toolkits “will be coupled with (smoking) cessation and support for those who really want to quit smoking,” Henriquez said. “I think this is a toolkit any landlord can use.”

Ultimately, Koh said, the goal is “to restore the social norm to a non-smoking environment.”



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