Eleven tenants, property managers, and other representatives from multi-unit housing in Lowell joined a recent statewide gathering in Worcester to promote discussion about the intricacies of smoke-free housing rules at the first "Together, Let's Clear the Air: A Smoke-Free Housing Resident Summit." Housing authorities, local public health departments, tobacco-free initiatives, tenant advocates, residents, researchers, and legal experts participated in the event.
The summit featured keynote speaker Martin Nee, Director of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Nee emphasized that children in non-smoking units of multiunit housing have 140% higher cotinine levels, a test of nicotine exposure, than those children who don't live in multiunit housing.
The event was hosted by the Massachusetts Partnership for Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention, which is coordinated by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. The group is working across the state to help reduce exposure to secondhand smoke in multiunit housing through education about voluntary smoke-free policies.