Letter: Give praise to AHFC for moving to protect health of its residents

On behalf of the American Lung Association in Alaska, I applaud Alaska Housing Finance Corp.’s  implementation of smoke-free housing policies in its multifamily units. 

Everyone has the right to breathe clean air. Smoke-free housing is not an amenity, but a human right. No one should be forced to be exposed to these dangers: 

• Secondhand smoke (SHS) contains 7,000 chemicals; 60 of those are cancer-causing chemicals. 

• Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or work increase their heart disease and lung cancer risk by up to 30 percent.

• Nearly 9 in 10 Alaska adults agree that people should be protected from SHS. Even more than 3 in 4 smokers agree that people should be protected from SHS.

Indoor SHS is never isolated. It seeps through cracks in walls, ventilation, and settles in paint and furniture. SHS is harmful, especially to vulnerable populations: people with asthma, COPD, and heart disease; the elderly; and children. AHFC is taking action to protect the health of its residents and this is worthy of high praise. 

— Marge Stoneking, Alaska director of American Lung Association