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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Smoke-Free Policy for Social Housing

Grey County | by Brenden Gibbins  

Grey County implemented a smoke-free policy in social housing, joining Bruce.

The issue of second-hand smoke in multi-unit homes in Grey and Bruce continues to grow into a serious problem for the health unit.

As of January 1st, Grey County Social Housing implemented a smoke-free policy in their residential units - and the same has been done in Bruce County.

Tobacco Program Manager at the Grey Bruce Health Unit, Angela Newman, tells us it's a big deal that both Grey and Bruce have implemented a smoke-free policy in social housing units.

Newman says people are starting to voice their opinions on second-hand smoke and tenants are beginning to realize they can legally implement a smoke-free policy.

Currently one in three people in Ontario live in an apartment, condo or co-op where they can be exposed to unwanted smoke through shared walls, hallways or ventilation systems.

According to a poll by Ipsos Reid in 2010, four out of five Ontarians living in multi-unit housing want to live in a smoke-free building.

Newman tells us they'd like to see some of the private sectors and landlords that own property move forward with smoke-free leases with their tenants.

The health unit says second-hand smoke contains 4,000 chemicals, of which 69 are carcinogens and over 250 others are regulated toxins.

The policy at Grey County Social Housing allows the people currently living there to be "grandfathered" and will only apply to new residents moving in or those who declare their home smoke-free.

Newman says the county decided to implement the policy for a number of reasons including health. 

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