Steeplechase Apartments offers Tobacco Free Outdoor Environment
By Sarah Damien
February 22, 2016

The management at Steeplechase Apartments is offering a tobacco free environment for their residents at their outdoor amenities. Their new policy covers the shared outdoor areas including swimming pools, playground, tennis court, basketball courts and volleyball courts.

A tobacco free policy for the shared amenities in the Steeplechase community contributes to a cleaner and healthier living environment. As reported by the U.S. Surgeon General, there is no safe amount of secondhand smoke. Even a little secondhand smoke can be dangerous, especially to young lungs. These amenities, which now feature Tobacco Free Signage thanks to the Measure Up Marion initiative, are most frequently used by children and families of the community.

According to Surgeon General Reports made in the last decade, completely avoiding secondhand smoke is very hard to do. Most of us breathe it whether we know it or not. In housing complexes, secondhand smoke can travel through walls and outlets between apartment units. Just being around someone who is smoking or using Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), like e-cigs or personal vaporizers, can expose lungs to a number of harmful chemicals. The chemicals found in secondhand smoke are harmful to a body’s health and are known to cause cancer, and recent studies have found similar chemicals in the aerosol emitted by ENDS products. Smoke and ENDS aerosol exposure can also trigger breathing conditions like asthma or worsen coughing and wheezing fits.

Measure Up Marion has been working closely with multi-unit housing complexes to help bring awareness to the dangers of secondhand smoke, even in outdoor environments.

By posting signage prohibiting the use of these products on their shared amenities, Steeplechase Apartments are now providing protection from the health consequences of secondhand smoke exposure. Smokeless tobacco (dip, snus, etc.) has been included in this new policy so that no tobacco use is permitted around impressionable youth. In this way, the social norming of tobacco use is being changed by such tobacco free policies, and the community will see fewer youth starting to use tobacco. In the end, this will reduce overall tobacco use in Marion County making it a healthier place to live, work, and play.