Southern New Hampshire Services Senior Housing goes smoke-free August 1, 2015.
Effective August 1, all 28 senior housing facilities managed by Southern New Hampshire Services (SNHS), will be smoke-free. Notification of the change was made beginning a year ago. The purpose for the change was based on a desire to mitigate the irritation and known health effects of second-hand smoke; the increased maintenance, cleaning and redecorating costs from smoking; the increased harm caused by smoking; and the higher cost of fire insurance for a non-smoke-free building.
The U.S. Department of Urban Development (HUD) has recommended that buildings become smoke-free for five years. HUD provides funding for the majority of the senior housing facilities managed by SNHS.
Tenants and their guests cannot smoke anywhere in their unit, or in any interior common areas of the housing community. The adjoining exterior grounds within 50 feet of the building are also included in the smoke-free area. Public sidewalks are except from the rule. SNHS staff and anyone doing work on the properties are also covered by the no smoking policy.
“Taking a full year to implement this program has been important,” said Deb Sevigny, SNHS Housing Director. We’ve used the time to educate ourselves and our residents to the benefits of living in a smoke-free environment and to draw on resources such as BreatheNH and the NH Department of Health and Human Services to make the transition a successful one.” “Everyone has the right to breathe clean air free of second hand smoke,” she continued.
Taking a full year to implement this program has been important. We’ve used the time to educate ourselves and our residents to the benefits of living in a smoke-free environment and to draw on resources to make the transition a successful one. Everyone has the right to breathe clean air free of second hand smoke.” – Deb Sevigny, SNHS Housing Director.
The prohibition includes any lighted cigar, cigarette, or other tobacco or plant product or similar lighted product in any manner or form, including electronic cigarettes. An important part of the transition to a smoke-free environment has been in providing resources to residents who have expressed a desire to stop smoking.
The presentations have offered information on the need to transition to a smoke-free environment as well as resources for those who want to quit smoking, including the NH Quitline (1-800-784-8669) and QuitNow-NH website (QuitnowNH.org).
The NH Quitline is also available in Spanish by calling 1-800-833-5256. Procedures have been put in place where residents can file a report if a smoking incident occurs. Housing management will investigate the incident, as reported, and determine if additional action is required.