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Senior Housing buildings to go smoke-free in August

Policy prohibits smoking inside of and within 25 feet of buildings

SEATTLE — March 11, 2010 — The Seattle Housing Authority Board of Commissioners has approved a resolution to establish a smoke-free policy that will apply to all Seattle Senior Housing Program buildings beginning August 1.

The action was prompted by the results of a survey of Senior Housing residents conducted last July. More than 71 percent of residents who responded to the survey were in favor of making the program's buildings smoke-free.

The new policy, which is specifically aimed at tobacco products, will prohibit smoking inside all units, indoor common areas and within 25 feet of windows and exterior doorways. The smoke-free policy will not impose a campus-wide ban on smoking. Seattle Housing will release the specifics of the new policy by the end of March.

"We've looked at the success other housing authorities have had in converting buildings and even entire communities to smoke-free," Judith Anderson, the program's senior property manager, said recently. "A key to their success has been good communication with residents, including clear explanations of the benefits to residents of smoke-free policies."

Meetings will be held with residents in every Seattle Senior Housing building to discuss specifics of the policy and how it will be implemented.

To assist residents with the transition to living in a smoke-free building and to support smoking cessation, Seattle Senior Housing will provide outreach and education to all residents in partnership with the Seattle–King County Public Health Tobacco Prevention Program.