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Residential Buildings in Escambia County, Florida Go Smoke-Free

By DOH-Escambia

September 30, 2014

PENSACOLA - Smoke-free multiunit housing, a growing trend throughout the country, has made its way to Escambia County, Florida. The growing list of smoke-free housing complexes in Escambia County, Florida includes:
  • CountryWood at Blue Angel, 9885 N. Loop Road.
  • Heritage Apartments, 6115 N. Davis Highway.
  • John Phar Triplex, 3014 E. Cervantes Street.
  • Marina Villas, 1275 Mahogany Mill Road.
  • Meadowrun, 3205 East Olive Road.
  • Robins Place, 416 Robins Road.
  • Tanglewood, 4470 Spanish Trail.
  • Three Angels, 3564 Milford Road.
  • Village at Southern Oaks, 7111 N. Blue Angel Parkway.

Across the state, there are more than 500 smoke-free multiunit housing properties and 73,000 smoke-free units.

“CountryWood at Blue Angel has had the honor of paving the way to a smoke-free lifestyle in the Pensacola area,” said Lynn Lurie, community manager. Our residents enjoy a clean, healthy environment, geared toward a more fit way of life. Apartment communities going smoke-free will become a growing trend as more Americans demand healthier living standards.”

For property managers and landlords, smoke-free policies can have economic benefits. More than 80% of Floridians are non-smokers and many smokers often do not permit smoking in their homes. Rental property managers have very successfully marketed their smoke-free policy as an amenity, not a restriction. Smoke-free policies can eliminate costs associated with repairing or replacing carpeting, floors, fixtures, countertops or appliances damaged by burns or nicotine stains. At the end of a lease, smoke-free units require less turnover time due to fewer preparation and repainting needs.

Tobacco smoke can move along air ducts, through cracks in the walls and floors, through elevator shafts, and along plumbing and electrical lines affecting units that are nearby. Therefore, there are also numerous benefits for residents as tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, hundreds of which are toxic and at least 70 known to cause cancer. Exposure, even for short periods of time, can be dangerous:

  • Secondhand smoke exposure is causally linked to heart disease, stroke, several cancers, lower respiratory illness, and impaired lung function.
  • Each year, among U.S. nonsmokers, exposure to secondhand smoke causes an estimated 33,000 premature deaths from heart disease and about 3,400 premature deaths from lung cancer.
  • Nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke at home or at work increase their risk of developing heart disease by 25 to 30 percent and their risk of developing lung cancer by 20 to 30 percent.
  • Secondhand smoke can trigger an asthma attack. A severe asthma attack can put a child’s life in danger.
  • In the first two years of life, children exposed to secondhand smoke have more than a 50 percent increased risk of getting bronchitis and pneumonia.
  • Infants exposed to secondhand smoke are at a greater risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). SIDS is the sudden, unexplained, unexpected death of an infant in the first year of life. SIDS is the leading cause of death in otherwise healthy infants.

Secondhand smoke is not the only danger. Smoking-related fires are the leading cause of fire deaths in residential buildings. These fires are eight times more likely to result in death than fires that start from another source. Smoking-related fires in residential buildings result in an average of approximately 365 deaths, 925 injuries, and $326 million in property loss each year.

“A home should be a safe place for everyone, especially for children, people with existing health conditions, and the elderly who are more vulnerable to the effects of secondhand smoke,” said Vanessa Phillips, Tobacco Prevention Coordinator for Tobacco Free Florida in Escambia County. “By making sure that residential buildings are 100 percent smoke-free, property managers are protecting tenants from the health dangers of toxic smoke and from the risk of deadly smoking-related fires.”

For more information, visit tobaccofreeflorida.com/smokefreehousing.

ABOUT TOBACCO FREE FLORIDA

Tobacco Free Florida is a statewide cessation and prevention campaign funded by Florida’s tobacco settlement fund. Tobacco Free Florida is managed by the Florida Department of Health, specifically
the Bureau of Tobacco Free Florida.

Smokers and smokeless tobacco users interested in quitting are encouraged to call the Florida Quitline at 1-877-U-CAN-NOW to speak with a Quit Coach. To learn about Tobacco Free Florida and the state’s free quit smoking resources, visit www.tobaccofreeflorida.com or follow the campaign on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TobaccoFreeFlorida or Twitter at www.twitter.com/tobaccofreefla.

The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health in Escambia County, visit www.escambiahealth.com.