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Tobacco-Free Alaska > Community Spotlight > April 2017

Alaska Smokefree Housing applauds HUD final rule to implement smokefree public housing nationwide

Early roll-out planned for Alaska

Smoke-free Housing Alaska

Responding to a growing number of tenant complaints regarding secondhand smoke drifting into their apartments and condominiums, in 2007 Alaska’s Tobacco Prevention and Control program and the Alaska Tobacco Control Alliance, bolstered by a national trend and its partners, formed the Alaska Smokefree Housing Partnership (ASHP). Housing authorities and commercial property owners/managers were provided smokefree policy resources and given support during implementation.

The American Lung Association, an Alaska Tobacco Prevention and Control Program grantee, developed a searchable website featuring smokefree properties and providing education and implementation materials for tenants and property managers/owners. The roster of smokefree properties continues to grow, with a record 220 properties in 2016, with privately operated affordable housing properties, senior housing residences, commercial-rate properties and 10 of Alaska’s 14 housing authorities. The website and database can be found at: https://www.smokefreehousingak.org/

In 2007 North Pacific Rim was the first Alaska housing authority to go smokefree, joined in the years following by Aleutian, Baranof Island, Bering Straits, Bristol Bay, Cook Inlet, Copper River Basin, Ketchikan Indian Community, Northwest Inupiat and Tlingit-Haida.

ASHP members in 2009 provided the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation with presentations to the board of directors and housing managers as well as materials to begin their policy adoption. They have announced their housing properties will be smokefree in 2017.

Influenced by this national movement, in 2016 the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a smokefree requirement - in buildings and within 25 feet of entrances - for all public housing authorities they fund, which will take effect in 2018.

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References
  1. U.S Department of Housing and Development. (2016). HUD.GOV Retrieved from: https://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/press/press_releases_media_advisories/2016/HUDNo_16-184