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Jefferson County, CO –Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH), The Action Center, and legal experts joined forces to train more than forty-five attorneys and mediators on Saturday, June 21, 2014, on topics including the legality and benefits of no-smoking policies and the rights of residents experiencing unwanted smoke intrusion in their homes.
“I have seen a significant increase in the numbers of calls my law firm receives from tenants inquiring about their rights when it comes to secondhand smoke exposure in multiunit housing. I expect that number to grow significantly within the next few years,” states project attorney Phyllis A. Roestenberg, a seasoned attorney and mediator specializing in fair housing issues. “Our goal is to assist property owners and managers who want to implement no-smoking policies and at the same time support residents seeking protection from secondhand smoke exposure.”
More than half a million people live in multiunit homes in Colorado and the number exposed to secondhand smoke in their homes could fill four football stadiums. According to the Surgeon General, secondhand smoke is a serious health concern that is responsible for more than 50,000 preventable deaths each year- more than car crashes or gun deaths. There is no risk-free level of secondhand smoke exposure. Even brief exposure can trigger asthma, heart attacks, and increase the risk of cancer.
“We know there are perceived legal barriers in the housing community with regard to no-smoking policies,” explains Rebecca Hebner, MPH, Multiunit Housing Program Specialist at Jefferson County Public Health. “It is our goal to increase the number of legally trained professionals who can help housing providers go smoke-free and who can help residents seeking protection from secondhand smoke exposure.”
Jefferson County Public Health continues to work toward reducing the toll of tobacco in our communities through sustainable solutions to the problem of tobacco use and exposure. To learn more about current initiatives and how to get involved, please visit www.tobaccofreejeffco.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 303-275-7555.
July 9, 2014
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