MADISON, Wis. - There's a big change coming today to public housing around the country. The federal government is requiring all of those units to be smoke-free. Earlier this month Wisconsin marked the eighth anniversary of the state's smoke free air law. It's been highly successful and popular.
Officials say taking the clean air movement into multi-unit housing recognizes that the vast majority of people who want a smoke free workplace also want their homes to be smoke free. While this is a huge step forward for public health, the American Lung Association recognizes that quitting smoking, or even cutting back, can be a tremendous hurdle for some smokers, but experts say this is a nice start for smokers to quit.
"They don't smoke as often or as much,” said Dona Wininsky with the American Lung Association of Wisconsin. “They think about it a little bit more. It usually causes them to reflect, thinking would this be a good opportunity for me to quit, because we also know that 70 percent of smokers want to quit and this may provide them the motivation they need."
The Lung Association has completed several successful programs throughout Wisconsin and is scheduling others to begin here in the near future.
As far as punishments if you're caught smoking in public housing, officials say most places will start with a warning, but you could also face fines or even get evicted.
The Lung Association’s quit smoking program is offered in person, online and by phone and includes content on building a quit plan, medications that can aid quitting smoking, lifestyle changes that support quitting smoking, how to manage stress and how to overcome relapse and become smoke-free for good. To learn more about how to quit smoking, call the Lung Association’s toll-free Lung Helpline 1-800-LUNGUSA, or learn more about Freedom From Smoking.
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