Miami-Dade County looks to develop smoke-free policy for public housing
MIAMI-DADE, FL – Citing the health risks of second-hand smoke especially among low-income groups, Miami-Dade County took a step toward banning smoking in its public housing developments.
The Miami-Dade County Commission approved legislation sponsored by Chairman Jean Monestime to develop a smoke-free policy for all multi-family public housing and affordable housing developments owned and operated by Miami-Dade County.
“We have a moral responsibility to ensure we’re protecting our most vulnerable residents,” said Chairman Monestime, noting that cigarette smoke can travel through air ducts, affecting other residents in public housing facilities. “We know that vulnerable populations are more likely than higher income populations to be diagnosed with major chronic conditions, which contributes to the disparities between haves and have nots.”
The smoke-free policy is to be developed in consultation with the residents and resident councils and will come back to the Commission for final approval before being implemented as part of the County’s fiscal year 2016-17 public housing agency plan.
Representatives from the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development attended the Board meeting and offered their strong support for the policy. More than 500 housing authorities around Florida and the nation have already adopted smoke-free policies for their public housing developments.