Ban Smoking in Multi-Unit Housing in Chicago

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More than 480,000 people die from tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke every year in the U.S. This makes it the leading cause of preventable death in this country. On top of that, 1 in 4 nonsmokers are still exposed to secondhand smoke in the United States. At least 250 of the 7000 chemicals found in secondhand tobacco smoke are known to be harmful, with 69 of those being toxic chemicals that cause cancer. If it’s not cancer, it could be heart disease, a stroke, or even increased asthma symptoms. We shouldn’t be putting our loved ones at risk because our neighbors can’t go outside to light up.

Currently, Chicago has an ordinance called the Clean Indoor Air Act. This ordinance bans smoking in virtually all enclosed public places and enclosed places of employment. For buildings not covered in the ordinance, the current law only encourages building owners and managers to declare their buildings and spaces to be smoke-free.

We believe this ordinance and this “encouragement” of landlords and building managers does not go far enough! Citizens who live in multi-unit housing should have the same right to clean air as anyone else.  Secondhand smoke creeps in through vents, doors, and cracks in your walls and floors. Just because my neighbor smokes does not mean that I should feel the effects. Let’s send a message to Mayor Emanuel and the Chicago City Council to expand the ordinance to include multi-unit public and private housing.



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