For Immediate Release
Contact: Phil Ulibarri
775.328.2414 or 775.772.1659
6/18/15 EDITOR'S NOTE:If you've recently received an email regarding this announcement, we apologize for any confusion. Some of our news subscribers may have received a duplicate copy of this news release from May 8. The issue that caused this to occur has since been resolved.
Reno, Nevada. May 8, 2015. The Washoe County Health District has awarded the Reno Housing Authority (RHA) the 2015 Extra Mile Award (EMA) for voluntarily adopting a 100% smoke-free policy at all of their properties to protect residents, employees, and visitors.
The EMA, which honors those that have gone the “extra mile” in protecting our community from exposure to secondhand-smoke, was presented by Washoe County District Board of Health Chairwoman Kitty Jung, and District Health Officer Kevin Dick. The RHA policy impacts 1,615 public housing units, houses, condos and duplexes. RHA goes the extra mile by also offering smoking cessation classes to residents.
According to housing officials, RHA implemented the smoke-free housing policy for several reasons. “It not only protects the health of residents, it also reduces resident complaints, reduces the risk of smoking-related fires, decreases maintenance costs, and decreases cigarette litter around the property,” says the Executive Director of RHA, Amy Jones. “The majority of residents want it too, so it’s a win-win situation.”
Health officials agree. “We know that reducing exposure to second-hand smoke can reduce the incidence of heart disease, cancer, and a variety of lung and pulmonary conditions,” says Washoe County District Health Officer, Kevin Dick. “Smoke-free housing policies are an important step for the health of our community, especially when it benefits lower income residents and families, as this policy does.”
The Washoe County Health District continues to work with multi-unit housing property owners and managers to help protect our residents from the harmful effects of tobacco use and exposure. The Health District considers the negative effects of tobacco use and exposure to be a priority health issue for our community and provides resources to help properties adopt voluntary smoke-free policies.
# # #
About Washoe County Health District: The Washoe County District Board of Health, through the Washoe County Health District, has jurisdiction over all public health matters in Washoe County, Nevada. Its mission is to protect and enhance the quality of life for all citizens of Washoe County through health promotion, disease prevention, public health emergency preparedness, and environmental services. The Board of Health is composed of seven members, including two representatives each from Reno, Sparks, and Washoe County, and a physician licensed to practice medicine in Nevada.