It is no easy task for a smoker to quit smoking in the home. Now more than ever, there is a need for health care providers to help their patients kick the habit once and for all.
Throughout our region and nationwide, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) public housing is going smoke-free on July 30. This affects all Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority residents including those living in 31 properties throughout the City of Buffalo. This is to protect residents from harmful secondhand cigarette smoke that drifts between apartments and into offices and common areas.
By providing counseling, medication and referrals to community resources each health care provider can make a profound influence on their patients’ health. Asking patients if they are current smokers, gauging their readiness to quit, assisting with a quit attempt and following up with each patient’s progress is important. Research shows that half of all smokers who try to quit are motivated by their provider’s recommendations, and patients who are encouraged to quit and begin medication are two to three times more likely to remain smoke-free.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, secondhand smoke accounts for an estimated 50,000 deaths among adult nonsmokers each year. Secondhand smoke harms both children and adults, and the way to fully protect nonsmokers is to remove smoking in all homes, apartments, worksites and public places.
The HUD Smoke-Free Housing ruling along with health care provider support can only improve on the overall health of our Western New York community.
Ashley Petit, MS
Health Education Specialist