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Our Residents

Residents Prepare for New Smoking Rules

Residents Prepare for New Smoking Rules

Residents Prepare for New Smoking Rules

Sara Moriarty, project manager for the Gandara Center Tobacco Free Community Partnership, shares information on smoking cessation with residents at Jennie Lane Apartments.

The Springfield Housing Authority has begun to reach out to residents to explain the new smoking regulations, and to help smokers kick the dangerous habit.

An SHA team has begun working with residents to ensure a smooth transition to the new regulation, adopted by the Board of Commissioners last year. The first phase will begin on April 1, prohibiting smoking at residences, workplaces and indoor common areas. One year later, on April 1, 2013, the entire SHA will be smoke-free, both indoors and outdoors.

The education/outreach team began working with resident councils in March to give details of the new regulation, as well as to answer any questions residents may have. The team also informed residents of smoking cessation programs that are available in the area.

Residents Prepare for New Smoking Rules

Jennie Lane resident Irma Martell shared her story with fellow residents about her struggles to quit smoking following the death of her husband to lung cancer.

The team includes SHA Executive Department Manager Isabel Serrazina, Resident Service Coordinator Candra Cripps and Communications and Community Relations Manager Mary Ellen Lowney, along with Sara Moriarty of the Gandara Center’s Tobacco Free Community Partnership.

The first stop was the Jennie Lane Tenants’ Association, where some two dozen residents gathered for a scheduled meeting.

Serrazina outlined the new policy, noting that all SHA residents have signed lease addendums agreeing to the new regulations. She also fielded questions about enforcement, clean-up and others.

“As of April 1, it’s a lease requirement,” Serrazina noted. “Those in violation will be treated as such.”

Council President Eugenia Choiniere asked about clean-up of smoking materials that might be left outside. Serrazina said smoking residents will clean up after themselves.
Following the session, residents said they are pleased that their homes and the surrounding areas will soon be smoke-free.

Residents Prepare for New Smoking Rules

Jennie Lane Tenants Association President Eugenia Choiniere, Treasurer Janet Levierge and Vice President Jessica Quinones agree that the new smoking regulations will make for a safer and healthier living environment.

“I think it’s a really good thing,” said Janet Levierge, who is treasurer of the association and a nine-year resident at Jennie Lane.

In a survey of residents done last year, there was overwhelming support for the new regulation.

SHA Executive Director William H. Abrashkin said he is pleased with the tenant outreach effort.

“By now it is firmly established that second-hand smoke is one of the major public health problems in America. Second-hand smoke causes cancer, respiratory, and heart disease and it is a major trigger for allergies and asthma, among other health problems,” Abrashkin said.

“There is no safe level of second-hand smoke. How can a public housing authority claim to have a drug-free environment for its residents when it freely allows the most dangerous drug of all, tobacco, on its premises,” he asked.

4509 days ago / Our Residents
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