Re: Smoke-free Multi-unit housing in La Puente


To whom it may concern:


Secondhand smoke is an ongoing public health concern that puts everyone at risk, and while the State of California and the City of La Puente have made great progress to eliminate exposure in public and outdoor areas, residents living in multi-unit housing still face risks.

Secondhand smoke is the third-leading cause of preventable death in the United States, and increases the risks of lung and heart disease, as well as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. In Los Angeles County, 24 percent of adults are exposed to secondhand smoke between one to six days per week, whereas 14 percent are exposed daily. In La Puente, approximately one-third of all residents live in multi-unit housing, and 47 percent of residents in multi-unit housing reported that smoke seeps into their homes. La Puente residents believe strongly in creating a smoke-free environment; 94 percent said they would live in a non-smoking building if that were an option.

The U.S. Surgeon General has concluded that eliminating smoking in multi-unit housing is the only way to fully protect nonsmokers.  According to The Center for Tobacco Policy and Organizing, 51 jurisdictions in California have adopted laws prohibiting smoking in multi-unit housing, including 16 Los Angeles County jurisdictions: El Monte, Manhattan Beach, Culver City, Glendale, Santa Monica, Huntington Park, Baldwin Park, Pasadena, South Pasadena, and Calabasas.

We want to see La Puente join these other cities in living smoke-free. Breathing in secondhand smoke that drifts in from neighboring units, balconies, and outdoor areas is an ongoing health problem in La Puente. Allegra Consulting has partnered with Los Angeles County Public Health Department to change tobacco-related social norms and protect La Puente residents from exposure.

supports this campaign and public health interventions focused on policy as well as systemic and environmental changes in:

1) Reducing exposure to secondhand smoke for all La Puente residents;

2) Limiting tobacco promoting influences and reducing tobacco exposure to youth;

3) Improving overall indoor air quality for La Puente residents living in multi-unit homes.

Allegra Consulting has been greatly involved in educating our community and youth about dangers of secondhand smoke. They have participated in several community events, conducted one-on-one meetings with residents to gain support for this campaign, collected public opinion surveys with over 900 La Puente residents, facilitated key informant interviews with community members, joined several local organizations, conducted educational presentations and facilitated several coalition meetings.

Based on the data collected by Allegra Consulting, 97 percent of La Puente residents surveyed support a law that bans smoking in both indoor and outdoor spaces in multi-unit housing. La Puente residents deserve smoke-free housing and we support Allegra Consulting in this campaign.

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Brenda Morales, Project Coordinator 

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