10 | 26 | 2017

Bayside Smokefree Housing Alliance

Bayside Smokefree Housing Alliance
Phil Konigsberg
Smokefree Community Advocate
Queens, NY - Residents living in Bay Terrace and Bayside apartment buildings have founded the Bayside Smokefree Housing Alliance, an advocacy organization to educate and inform apartment building landlords (including co-ops and condos), property managers and residents on the health, safety, legal and financial advantages of living in and operating a building with a smokefree apartment policy. 
A results-oriented organization, the Bayside Smokefree Housing Alliance will measure their success by the increase in the number of apartment units that transition to a smokefree policy in the Bayside and Bay Terrace communities over the next two years.  
Bayside and Bay Terrace residents living in apartments have become emboldened by the recent transition of North Shore Towers, a 1,844-unit apartment complex in Floral Park, Queens, to a smokefree property. North Shore Towers is the largest smokefree residential complex in New York and probably the United States. North Shore Towers is an example of the increasing trend of smokefree apartment buildings in New York City from the start or transitioning existing buildings to a smokefree policy. 
While over 1,500,000 residents Live in apartment buildings in New York City, many are unaware that they share up to 65% of the indoor air between their units including toxic secondhand smoke from smokers living in other apartments within the building.
We are seeing a gradual changeover as more non-smokers demand the right to live in their homes without having to breathe secondhand smoke. The only way to achieve this is with a 100% smokefree environment throughout the entire building. 
A smokefree apartment policy provides all residents with the ability to breathe fresh air. But to date, only a few have that essential free health and safety amenity.
The Bayside Smokefree Housing Alliance calls on the landlords, property managers and residents of the more than 30 apartment buildings in the Bayside and Bay Terrace communities to initiate steps to start the formal transition to become a smokefree property.
We are honored to have the support of New York State Senator Tony Avella hosting our launch. In addition, Dr. Robert Mittman, an asthma and allergy specialists and [Dr. Timothy Robinson, an internist, and Stacy Wolf, DDS]*. Bayside Pediatrics, which has been serving the Bayside area for 45 years, have joined us here today or provided statements of support. 
The Bayside Smokefree Housing Alliance is grateful to NYC Smoke-Free of Public Health Solutions, the Queens Tobacco Control Coalition, and Northwell Health Systems for their leadership.
For more information:
Please contact us at  smokefreebayside@gmail.com
*Still waiting for decisions by these health professionals on whether they will attend or just provide statements of support.
NYC Smoke-Free - a program of Public Health Solutions, NYC Smoke-Free works to protect the health of New Yorkers through tobacco control policy, advocacy, and education. Formerly the NYC Coalition for a Smoke-Free City, we partner with community members, legislators, and health advocates to support local efforts to end the devastating tobacco epidemic throughout NYC. We believe every New Yorker has the right to breathe clean, smoke-free air where they live, work and play. For more information, visit us at www.NYCSmokeFree.org.
Public Health Solutions - As one of the largest public health service nonprofit organizations in New York City, Public Health Solutions improves health among the city’s most vulnerable populations by tackling social, physical, and environmental factors that impact New Yorkers’ ability to thrive. Today PHS serves 200,000+ New Yorkers annually, and we support the work of more than 600 community-based nonprofit organizations. We implement innovative, cost-effective population-based health programs; conduct research providing insight on effective public health interventions; and provide services to government and other nonprofits to address public health issues. Together with our colleagues in the service sector, government, philanthropy and policy organizations, we are thought leaders and cutting-edge public health professionals in New York City and New York State. To learn more, please visit us at www.healthsolutions.org.