Letter: “Prohibit smoking in multi-unit housing”

There are over 15,637 homes in the unincorporated areas of Alameda County (Ashland, Cherryland, San Lorenzo, Castro Valley, Hayward Acres, Fairview and Sunol) that are not protected from the dangers of secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke is extremely dangerous in apartments, condos, duplexes and of other types of multi-unit housing and nothing is being done to protect our families. It is more important than ever to make a change now by supporting BASTA (Bay Area Strength Through Activism) in our fight to create smoke-free environments. In addition to creating a healthier environment for residents, policies that restrict smoking can also save money and lives, as it will lower the risks of fires. Our responsibility as members of the community is to advocate for a policy that will contribute to a safer and healthier environment for all.

It’s time to protect our residents. Unincorporated Alameda County’s tobacco control grade is the lowest, at a demoralizing “D,” compared to neighboring cities San Leandro and Hayward’s “B.” When BASTA went door knocking and surveyed 147 residents, over 65% of youth and adults stated they were being exposed to cannabis and tobacco secondhand smoke. There is a high price our residents’ health will pay if we do not act now.

The majority of multi-unit housing residents want to live in smoke-free housing. We urge you to join this movement to prohibit smoking in multi-unit housing. Call your Alameda County supervisors, Nate Miley and Wilma Chan, to let them know secondhand smoke in multi-unit housing is a serious issue in your community. Join BASTA to help improve the health of our community, and multi-unit housing residents. Contact Jade Le, at jle@lafamiliacounseling.org or 510.634.4156 for more information.

Megan Chew, Ryan Khuuu, and Gina Liang

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