More and more properties throughout the county are taking the initiative to become smoke free.
Tuesday, the William B. Anderson Tower, located at 9 Crane St., became the first subsidized housing unit in Jamestown to go completely tobacco free. This will include all apartments, common areas and outside property.
“This is another step in creating a better environment for our residents by protecting them from the toxins and side effects of tobacco use,” said Tom Holt, Lutheran president and CEO. “The building will be cleaner, the residents happier and it will decrease the risk of fire. Already we have residents who are moving in because they want to be free from tobacco smoke and the unsightly litter of cigarette butts.”
Lutheran has partnered with the Tri-County Tobacco Control Coalition and Smoke Free Housing NY. The coalitions are comprised of community partnerships funded by the New York State Tobacco Control Program. Their goal is to protect the health of residents by increasing the availability of smoke-free multi-unit housing throughout the state. They work hand in hand with public housing authorities, nonprofit community development corporations and market rate apartment management companies to adopt no-smoking policies in their communities.
“We’ve been working with Laurie and her team since 2007,” said Holt. “I think that we were the first health care organization in the community to go tobacco free. We did a lot of hand wringing about that at the time. We did a lot of debating about whether or not we should move ahead. What we found, though, is what everyone told us we would find. This has become so much more commonplace today, and if you have just a little bit of courage, it goes a long way toward creating a tobacco free environment. It was never a matter of taking the rights of tobacco users away, it was about protecting the rights of nonsmokers, and that’s what we’re here to do today. This is the first of what will hopefully happen to all of our properties over time.”
There were many residents in attendance during Tuesday’s announcement, several of whom noted that tobacco smoke could be “very offensive,” and said that they looked forward to being able to spend time outside of the building without having to worry about tobacco smoke. The Tri-County Tobacco Free Program also provided “Tobacco Free” signs during the announcement for residents to hang in their apartments, as well as signs that will be placed outside of the building.
“People want to come here because it’s tobacco free,” Laurie Adams, Tri-County Tobacco Free Programs project director, told the residents. “We thank you for your support and look forward to working with you.”