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

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].

 

 

 

 

Related Stories

Interim Health Commissioner Mary Beth Haller Declares Code Blue Extreme Cold Alert for Baltimore Sunday Afternoon until Tuesday Morning

BALTIMORE, Md. (January 18, 2019)—With precipitation and single digit temperatures expected this weekend, Baltimore City Interim Health Commissioner Mary Beth Haller has issued a Code Blue Extreme Cold declaration for Baltimore City beginning Sunday afternoon, January 20 through Tuesday morning, January 22.

Interim Health Commissioner Mary Beth Haller Declares Code Blue Extreme Cold Alert for Baltimore Overnight Saturday through Sunday

BALTIMORE, Md. (January 12, 2018)—With accumulating snowfall and cold temperatures expected, Baltimore City Interim Health Commissioner Mary Beth Haller issued a Code Blue Extreme Cold declaration for Baltimore City, beginning tonight, January 12 through Sunday, January 13.  This is the third Code Blue Extreme Cold declaration this season.

Interim Health Commissioner Mary Beth Haller Declares Code Blue Extreme Cold Alert for Baltimore Overnight Thursday through Friday Morning

BALTIMORE, Md. (January 9, 2019)—With temperatures predicted to fall into the teens with wind chill, Baltimore City Interim Health Commissioner Mary Beth Haller today issued a Code Blue Extreme Cold declaration for Baltimore City, beginning Thursday evening, January 10 through the morning of Friday, January 11.  This is the second Code Blue Extreme Cold declaration this season.