Secondhand smoke exposure is a dangerous health risk for adults, but it is especially dangerous for children, elderly, and the disabled. Children and the elderly do not have as well-developed lungs as those of adults, so they are more susceptible to secondhand smoke. In a multi-unit housing building, the secondhand smoke can migrate from other units through doorways, cracks in walls, electrical lines, plumbing, and ventilation systems.
Currently, land owners and property managers have the right to make their buildings smoke-free. However, a city-wide or even county-wide policy could effect larger change for the community. Smoke-free multi-unit housing policies protect residents and others from secondhand smoke exposure while also saving on property costs due to turnover and cleaning. These policies also significantly reduce the risk for fire in buildings.
The Compadres for Tobacco Free Los Angeles County aims to bring about smoke-free environments for Los Angeles County and is focused on three jurisdictions for smoke-free multi-unit housing: Azusa, Montebello, and South Gate.