News and Events

Arcadia Housing Authority goes Smoke Free as of July 1, 2014

We would like to congratulate the Arcadia Housing Authority for their concern for their tenants. 

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States.  In DeSoto County, the use of cigarettes is higher than the statewide average. This means that more DeSoto County residents will die or be disabled from smoking related disease than in other areas of the state.  Youth in DeSoto start smoking and dipping earlier.  “Once a kid’s brain sees nicotine on a routine basis they become an addict willing to give tobacco companies thousands of dollars a year to support their addiction,” states Kirk Voelker MD, a pulmonologist and DeSoto tobacco prevention specialist.  “On average, smokers die 14.5 years earlier than nonsmokers.”

Second hand smoke is also an issue  because it causes respiratory problems, heart attacks and cancers in non-smokers.  A person living with a smoker has triple the risk of a heart attack and 1.5 times the risk of cancer as those living in smoke free homes.  It is estimated that second hand smoke kills over 50,000 people each year in the United States.  “Smoking around your family members similar to putting a little poison in their food every day, it is not enough to kill them all at once but over time it may.” notes Dr. Voelker, “Since up to 60% of the air inside a duplex or apartment circulates from one unit to another, the smoker is not only poisoning their family but also poisoning their neighbors”.

Walls Don't Protect

We have recently discovered dangers of “third hand smoke.” This is that yellow stained residual of cancer causing agents covering apartment units, carpeting and drapes when a smoker moves out.

Going smoke free also reduces fires caused by smoking.  In 2007, over 140,000 fires were started by cigarettes, cigars and pipes in the U.S. causing $530 million in property damage, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Twenty-five percent of people killed in smoking-related fires are not the actual smokers, with many being children of the smokers, neighbors or friends.

Be a Good Neighbor… Quit Smoking!

If you are looking for a good reason to quit smoking, here are a few.

  1. You will live longer-  The average non-smoker lives 14 years longer than smokers.  You will buy yourself quality years of life no matter what age you quit.
  2. You will save money- You probably spend around $1500/year for every pack of cigarettes that you smoke each day.  Just think what you could do with that money!
  3. You will become more attractive-  Seriously! Smoking effects your breath, skin, clothes and teeth.  Once you become a non-smoker you will realize that people can smell residual smoke on your body from several feet away.
  4. You will be a better neighbor- Your smoke does not just stay in your unit.  Up to 65% of the air is recirculated between units.  Second hand smoke from your unit can set off a breathing or allergy attack in your neighbor.
  5. Save the life of a loved one- Second hand smoke can increase your family’s risk of cancer, heart attack, stroke and death.

For more information on the work of the Tobacco Free Partnership if DeSoto County, contact Whitney Browning at