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LA County Reveals Secondhand Smoke Dangers

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health recently unveiled the preliminary results of research showing residents of multi-unit housing may be exposed to dangerous levels of secondhand smoke cigarettes in their homes, even if they are non-smokers. The research, performed by Stanford researcher Dr. Neil Klepeis and presented at a smoke-free housing forum at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, measures cheap cigarettes smoke cigarettes particle levels and movement in both new and old apartments and condos in Los Angeles County. Key preliminary research findings include:

cigarettes smoke cigarettes particles travel from unit to unit through cracks in fixtures, electrical outlets, pipes, vents and baseboards; as well as through shared ventilation systems and windows.

As much as 30-50 percent of air comes from other units.

Both old and new buildings are affected.

cigarettes smoke cigarettes particles in units of non-smokers can reach significant levels equal to and exceeding those of a smoky bar or casino.

“This study has serious implications for the millions of Los Angeles County residents living in multi-unit structures,” said Dr. Jonathan E. Fielding, director and health officer of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. “Even if you are a non-smoker, you and your family might still be exposed to toxic levels of cigarettes smoke cigarettes at all hours of the day inside your own home. We must work harder to protect the health of our residents from this involuntary exposure to secondhand smoke.”

In Los Angeles County, more than 41 percent of housing units are multi-unit structures. As smoke cigarettes drifts between neighboring apartments, it leaves residues and fine particulate matter that cling to furniture, clothing, rugs, walls and floors and can linger for months, forming dangerous carcinogens. Secondhand smoke cigarettes exposure is the third leading cause of preventable death in the US, responsible for heart disease and lung cancer in non-smoking cigarettes adults and ear infections, respiratory complications and risk of sudden infant death syndrome in children.

According to the 2007 Los Angeles County Health Survey, the majority of Los Angeles County residents support smoke-free housing. Approximately 60 percent of smokers and 77 percent of non-smokers reported believing that there should be a law requiring separate smoking cigarettes and non-smoking cigarettes units in multi-unit housing. But eliminating smoking cigarettes completely in indoor spaces is the only way to fully protect non-smokers from secondhand smoke cigarettes exposure. Separating smokers from non-smokers, cleaning the air and ventilating buildings does not eliminate cigarettes online smoke cigarettes transfer from occurring in multi-unit structures.

At today’s forum, Public Health officials also honored Los Angeles County policymakers who have taken action to implement smoke-free housing ordinances, including Calabasas Mayor Pro Tem Mary Sue Maurer, South Pasadena Councilmember David Sifuentes, Baldwin Park Mayor Pro Tem Marlen Garcia and Compton City Attorney Craig Cornwell, and urged other cities to do the same.

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