News and Events

Columbia County Public Housing Goes Smoke Free
September 01, 2018

Following a mandate from HUD the Columbia County Public Housing Authority has recently implemented a smoke free policy for its properties. The policy was drafted by the local public housing authority board and with little opposition from residents was easily passed and a new phase of public housing living begun.

“Change is always difficult for most people but in the end this is one that’s not only good for the physical property as it’ll reduce cost of rehabbing properties when a smoker moves out, but it’s also one that’ll benefit the health of residents as whole. Secondhand smoke from just one unit puts everyone else at risk,” commented Joey O’Hern, local Tobacco Prevention Program Staff.

Through the assistance of the Bureau of Tobacco Free Florida, local Tobacco Prevention Program staff were able to assist the Columbia County Public Housing Authority with signage for entrances onto property as well as individual apartments as well.

Not only does the passing of a comprehensive smoke free policy for residents have its health benefits it’s also a safety precaution. Statistically, each year in the U.S., an estimated 7,600 smoke-related fires occur in residential buildings. While policy change can offer be scary, especially for those who are smokers, statistically four out five non-smokers are in favor of a smoke-free building policy. It is the goal that with the local Public Housing Authority going smoke-free that it will encourage other multi-unit housing properties to do the same.