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The Estates at Palm Bay Smokefree Policy

September 16, 2021

 

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health in Okaloosa County (DOH-Okaloosa) would like to recognize The Estates at Palm Bay in Fort Walton Beach for becoming a smokefree community. The policy was put in place on April 1, 2021 in celebration of Take Down Tobacco National Day of Action. This policy prohibits smoking, including electronic vapor products inside the units.

The Bureau of Tobacco Free Florida (BTFF), the state’s comprehensive tobacco prevention and cessation program, has been working to educate public and private housing managers about the benefits of smokefree policies for years and is encouraged by this development.

Michele Bencivenga, Property Manager of The Estates at Palm Bay, said “We strive to protect our residents’ health and well-being.”

A list of multiunit properties that have enacted voluntary smokefree policies has grown to more than 2,000 properties since tracking began in 2010, with 40 smokefree multiunit housing properties in Okaloosa County.

Benefits of smokefree buildings include:

  • Better health. Smokefree air laws decrease secondhand smoke exposure
    among nonsmokers, reduces heart attack and asthma hospitalizations and
    encourages smokers to quit. ¹
  • Increased safety. Smokefree policies reduce fire risks for residents, owners and
    property managers. ²
  • Decreased secondhand smoke exposure. Secondhand smoke can travel from
    other units through doorways, cracks in walls, electrical lines, plumbing and
    ventilation systems. ³,4

Smokers residing in smokefree housing should be aware that it is difficult, but not impossible to quit smoking. In fact, 61.7 percent of adult smokers who ever smoked had quit 5, and there are more former smokers in Florida than current smokers.

Having a comprehensive quit plan increases the success rate. Tobacco Free Florida’s Quit Your Way program makes it easier than ever for tobacco users to access evidence-based, free tools and services to help them quit tobacco.

For more information, please visit www.tobaccofreeflorida.com/quityourway. People can also access Tobacco Free Florida’s online Cost Calculator to find out how much money they could save by quitting smoking at www.tobaccofreeflorida.com/calculator.

We are here to help you every step of the way and can answer any questions or concerns you might have! We are here to help you understand what it takes to implement a smokefree policy and provide you with educational materials for your staff and residents to help them quit tobacco. If your housing community is interested in going tobacco free or wants to learn more, please contact your local Tobacco Free Florida representative at tobaccofreeokaloosa@flhealth.gov

About the Florida Department of Health
The Florida Department of Health, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @HealthyFla. For more information about the

Florida Department of Health please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.

About Tobacco Free Florida
The department’s Tobacco Free Florida campaign is a statewide cessation and prevention campaign funded by Florida’s tobacco settlement fund. Since the program began in 2007, more than 254,000 Floridians have successfully quit using one of Tobacco Free Florida's free tools and services. There are now approximately 451,000 fewer adult smokers in Florida than there was 10 years ago, and the state has saved $17.7 billion in health care costs. To learn more about Tobacco Free Florida’s Quit Your Way services, visit www.tobaccofreeflorida.com or follow the campaign on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TobaccoFreeFlorida or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/tobaccofreefla.

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1 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Healthy Homes Manual: SmokeFree Policies in Multiunit Housing. 2011. http://www.cdc.gov/
healthyhomes/Healthy_Homes_Manual_WEB.pdf
2 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Healthy Homes Manual: SmokeFree Policies in Multiunit Housing. 2011. http://www.cdc.gov/
healthyhomes/Healthy_Homes_Manual_WEB.pdf
3 Pizacani, B et al. Moving Multiunit Housing Providers Toward Adoption of Smoke-Free Policies. Prev Chronic Dis. 2011;8(1).http://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2011/jan/10_0015.htm
4 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Healthy Homes Manual: SmokeFree Policies in Multiunit Housing. 2011. http://www.cdc.gov/
healthyhomes/Healthy_Homes_Manual_WEB.pdf
5 Office of Smoking and Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/cessation/smoking-cessation-fast-facts/index.html