Woodside Apartments will Implement Tobacco Free Policy in July 2017
March 16, 2017

Kelly Mahoney has been working for Woodside Apartments as the apartment manager for nearly two years.  She was assigned a unit that had been previously occupied for by heavy smokers 3 years.  She recognized the visible damage that had been done such as tar stains on every surface.  Appliances and doors were “tacky” to the touch.  After a few days in the unit, she noticed a strange red substance oozing from the walls in the bathroom. She had no idea the ooze was the result of accumulated tar from second hand smoke, also known as third hand smoke, dripping down the walls.    

Growing up, Kelly lived in a home where she was exposed to second smoke by her parents’ tobacco habit. Her mother reduced her tobacco intake after having another child, but remained an occasional smoker throughout Kelly’s life. Kelly’s father maintained a habit of3 packs a day for nearly 30 years. Diagnosed with lung cancer, he limited his tobacco usage during chemotherapy and radiation treatments, but was unable to make a successful quit attempt.  Sadly, He passed at the age of 65.  Due to constant second-hand smoke exposure while growing up, Kelly has a heightened sensitivity to smoke, and suffers from chronic bronchitis. Today, she carries a prescription inhaler for sudden attacks. When required to inspect rental units of a tobacco user, she experiences severe coughing fits and burning eyes.

During her years as a property manager, Kelly has seen firsthand the expense and hard work required to clean out a unit damaged by tobacco use.  She has used harsh chemicals to get rid of the nicotine stains and smells in her own. Even after multiple applications, tar continues to bleed from the walls in the bathroom after showers, and in the kitchen after using the stove.

In February, HUD (Housing and Urban Development) passed a ruling that all public housing is required to be tobacco free as of August 2018. Kelly felt that wasn’t soon enough, convincing the management company to implement a tobacco free policy by July 2017. Through a colleague, she learned about the work done on tobacco free housing through The QuitDoc Foundation’s Measure Up Marion program.  She was already passionate about tobacco free living and was excited to receive benefits and support by signing up with the program.  Measure Up Marion was introduced approximately years ago, and is funded by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control.  The benefits of the program include policy creation and implementation, custom and complimentary signage and educational health presentations.

If you would like more information on Dining Tobacco Free with the help of Measure Up Marion and QuitDoc Foundation, please contact Community Health Advocate Tammy Slaughter: 352-359-5383, TSlaughter@QuitDoc.com.