Debra Martin: Consider smoke-free policies

June 3, 2018


Can secondhand smoke cause heart problems? For those living in apartment communities, it’s an important question since up to 65 percent of air (including secondhand smoke) is shared within a building.

May 31 marked the 2018 World No Tobacco Day, highlighting the link between tobacco (including secondhand smoke) and heart disease.

Interestingly, there is a link between secondhand smoke and cardiovascular disease.Non-smokers exposed to secondhand smoke have a 25-30 percent increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. That’s why smoke-free policies are so important. A 2016 survey of Arizona renters found that seven in 10 renters would choose to live in a smoke-free apartment community over one that allows smoking. In fact, over 40% of renters would even be willing to pay a little more to live in a smoke-free apartment community.

Other benefits include reducing property damage, eliminating preventable causes of fire, and even reducing insurance premiums.

Arizona Smoke-Free Living Coalition provides support to adopt a smoke-free policy, free of charge. To learn more, visit www.AzSmokeFreeLiving.org.

Don’t forget that smoking can cause heart disease for non-smokers, too. For those who live in multi-family communities, the risk may be hidden right under their noses.

Debra Martin, community health education specialist, Mohave County Department of Public Health

Lake Havasu City