Tag Archives: Queens Smoke Free Partnership

Hollis co-op goes smoke-free


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the Queens Smoke Free Partnership

Queens could be going smoke free, one apartment at a time.

The Queens Smoke-Free Partnership has converted 220 apartment homes into smoke-free zones and is furthering its work throughout the borough through various initiatives.

“Smoke-free housing is very up and coming,” said Yvette Buckner, the Queens borough manager at the Partnership. “We’re helping to formalize a policy and make Queens a healthier place.”

The Hilltop Village Cooperative in Hollis is one of the new smoke-free sites. Melvin Doby, board president of Cooperative Building 1 at Hilltop Village, sees the new initiative as a movement towards better health and one in which residents need to compromise.

Before the smoke-free space was implemented, Doby went out and spoke with his shareholders in Building 1. He admitted that some people had issues, but regardless, the motion passed with a significant majority vote.

“People say, ‘It’s infringing on our rights, our liberties,’ but when you signed on the dotted line, you signed [to] play well with others,” he said. “It’s a shared space. Our apartments are not air-tight. Second-hand smoke is a problem.”

After the building was made smoke free, designated smoking areas were put in place around the vicinity. Doby said that the co-op has a large elderly population, many of whom rely daily on oxygen tanks. If smokers are free to roam as they please around the property, Doby said it could be a great health concern.

“It’s just something to accommodate everyone,” he added. “It’s also a common courtesy.”

Within the next year, the Partnership plans to work with the Queens Co-op and Condo Association and the Queens Civic Congress to create more smoke-free units.

Aside from smoke-free housing, the Partnership is working on limiting tobacco marketing and exposure to youth and working in conjunction with community groups and youth organizations.

“We’re trying to keep them healthy where they live, work and play,” said Buckner.

 

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| editorial@queenscourier.com


On Sunday, November 13, a new law went into effect that bans smoking in outdoor areas of ticketing, boarding and platforms on stations operated by the MTA. This law was passed by the State Legislature with bipartisan support and signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo in August 2011.

Everyone has the right to breathe clean air, and this legislation is good public health policy that protects New Yorkers from secondhand smoke. The North Shore LIJ Health System, Queens Smoke Free Partnership, Senator Toby Stavisky and Senator Andrew Lanza applaud this initiative.

There is no safe level of secondhand smoke exposure. Just 30 minutes of exposure to secondhand smoke can increase the risk of blood clots and lead to more frequent asthma attacks in children. Secondhand smoke contains more than 250 chemicals known to be toxic or carcinogenic. Non-smokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke are inhaling many of the same cancer-causing substances and poisons as smokers. Secondhand smoke causes premature death and disease in children and adults who do not smoke.

Now that the law is in full effect, we would like to encourage Queens and Staten Island residents to quit smoking. Did you know that the Rockaways has the highest percentage of smokers (22 percent), followed closely by northwest Queens (20 percent), northeast Queens (18 percent) and central Queens (17 percent)? Staten Island residents have a smoking rate of 17 percent, while the New York City resident rate is 14 percent.

Protect yourself and those you love by helping someone quit smoking today. Why not? It’s free. Call the New York Smokers’ Quitline at 866-NY-QUITS (697-8487) or visit nysmokefree.com.

If you would like more information on cessation or smoke free outdoor policies, please call the Queens Smoke Partnership at 718-213-1550or visit www.nycsmokefree.org/Queens.

 

Sincerely,

Nancy Copperman, MS,RD,CDN                                                                                        Director of Public Health Initiatives                                                                                        North Shore LIJ Health System

 ANDREW J. LANZA
Senator, 24th District

 Toby Ann Stavisky                                                                                                               Senator, 16th District