Sandpiper senior housing goes smoke-free

The Sandpiper Apartments, a non-profit, life-lease senior housing facility in Sarnia, has adopted a smoke-free housing policy to help safeguard the health of its 175 residents.

"The move by the St Paul's Outreach Foundation of Sarnia, which operates the building at Wellington and Vidal streets, helps address the issue of second-hand smoke in multi-unit housing," says Jordan Banninga, Health Promoter with the County of Lambton Community Health Services Department.

Smokers at Sandpiper have been accommodated with a grandfather clause, but new residents must agree to keep their unit smoke-free.

"We are thrilled Sandpiper Apartments has taken the initiative and shown leadership to protect the health of Sarnia residents," said Banninga. "Second-hand smoke continues to be a public health concern, and currently, 1 in 3 Ontarians rent an apartment, condo or co-op where they are involuntarily exposed to smoke through shared walls, hallways or ventilation systems."

Exposure to second-hand smoke in multi-unit dwellings negatively affects the health of all residents, especially children, the elderly, and those with pre-existing conditions like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Second-hand smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals and over 100 different known carcinogens and toxins.

A poll released in December 2011 by Smoke-Free Housing Ontario found that 67 per cent of Ontarians, including 83 per cent of young adults aged 18 to 34, believe all apartments, condos and co-ops in the province should be 100 per cent smoke-free.

"Many tenants and landlords are not aware that smoke-free policies are legal and enforceable in rental properties, condos and housing co-ops," added Banninga. "Not only is there is a clear demand for smoke-free properties in the marketplace, making a property smoke-free creates healthier indoor air, and provides landlords with a unique way of marketing the properties as well as positively impacting the bottom line through lowering cleaning and maintenance costs."

For more information about smoke-free housing call 519 344-2062 ext. 2141, toll free 1-800-387-2882 or visit www.lambtonhealth.on.ca.

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