Baltimore City Health Department Launches Smoke-Free Home Initiative HealthiAir

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contacts:

Mona Rock: Office: (443) 984-2623, Cell: (410) 375-7763
Perry Meyers: Office: (410) 545-0823, Cell: (667) 216-0723

Workshops are designed to ease the path for families to create healthier homes without smoke

BALTIMORE, MD (January 10, 2018) — Today, Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen announced the Health Department’s latest effort to help residents turn their homes into smoke-free comfort zones. HealthiAir, a pop-up workshop, supports families in identifying practical ways to get started and connect to the resources they need.

BCHD convened a group of partners including Maryland Institute College of Art, Johns Hopkins, and Zeta Healthy Aging Partnership to address the issue of secondhand smoke in homes. Nearly one in four (23.1%) Baltimoreans smoke, compared with one in seven (14.6%) statewide.

The goal of each HealthiAir workshop is to ease the path for families to create healthier homes without smoke, and each workshop is designed to meet participants where they are on their journey to creating a smoke-free home. Workshops are open to schools, senior centers, housing, and faith- and community-based organizations.

Housing and Urban Development published a final rule in December, 2016, requiring each Public Housing Agency administering low-income, conventional public housing to have a smoke-free policy in place by July 31, 2018. HealthiAir can help families receiving government assistance to prepare for the new rule’s implementation.

“Tobacco is the single biggest contributor to heart disease, stroke, lung disease, and cancer—the top killers of our residents. The effects are not just to those who smoke. Second- and third-hand smoke also causes harm to those around them, including our most vulnerable babies and children,” said Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen. “HealthiAir workshops are based three core public health principles: we focus on reducing harm, we meet people where they are, and we have a program designed by the community and for the community.”

There are five components of HealthiAir workshops:

1. Sharing Stories (Precontemplation)

Creating an open space to share and connect with others about how smoking has affected them on a personal level.

2. Exploring the Opportunities (Contemplation)

Imagining, through drawing or writing, what an ideal smoke-free comfort zone would look like and how it would feel.

3. Accepting the Challenge (Preparation)

Discovering the benefits and challenges of creating a smoke-free comfort zone and identifying the first step by signing a family pledge.

4. Continuing the Process (Action)

Celebrating where participants are on the journey and finding ways to keep them on track by creating House Promises - realistic and achievable steps made by families to create and maintain smoke-free comfort zones.

5. Supporting the Journey (Maintenance)

Connecting participants with additional resources, such as free smoking cessation classes, connections to the MD Quitline, lead screening and asthma testing. This stage also gives participants the opportunity to continue sharing their experiences by becoming a HealthiAir Community Advocate.

Download a flyer about HealthiAir.

To host a HealthiAir event, call 443-984-2581 and email Casey Thomasson at [email protected].

 

 

 

 

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