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American Cancer Society Program Recognizes Smoke-Free Housing and Highlights Growing Trend

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New York, NY – December 4, 2012 – Potential residents of New York City and New Jersey high-rises will be able to tell at a glance if the building they’re considering living in is 100% smoke-free. The American Cancer Society’s Healthy High-Rises program recognizes multi-unit residential buildings that have a smoke-free policy prohibiting smoking anywhere inside the building. Buildings that meet the criteria are given a highly visible Healthy High-Rises decal for display in the front window indicating that the residence is smoke-free. Smoke-free housing has become an increasing trend in the real estate industry reflecting the demand of non-smoking consumers. 

“Secondhand smoke permeates walls and crevices in multi-unit residential housing and poses a significant health threat,” said Dr. Fred Jacobs, Chief Medical Officer, American Cancer Society of NY & NJ. “While health is a major concern, so is money. Smoke-free buildings are cost-effective because they require less maintenance and result in happier tenants.”

Smoke-free multi-unit residential housing is an increasing trend. Research shows that 75 percent of non-smokers prefer no-smoking policies where they live and 50 percent said they would pay more to live in a smoke-free residence.

Fourteen buildings are slated to be the first recipients of the Healthy High-Rises designation. See a list of buildings below. 

"Pan Am Equities' properties went smoke free years ago based upon our desire to provide a healthy environment for our residents. People should not have to live with secondhand smoke seeping through ventilation systems, walls and doors into their homes," said Scott Solomon CEO of Pan Am Equities, Inc.  "We are very pleased that the demand for smoke-free apartments is growing and that Pan Am could help support this important trend."

Secondhand smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, of which at least 250 are known to be harmful and more than 50 are known to cause cancer. Secondhand smoke can worsen conditions like heart disease and respiratory problems and exposure is especially dangerous for children. 

“In concert with Related’s commitment to sustainability and the wellness of its residents, we are proud to have proactively instituted a smoke-free initiative across the country,” said Jeff Brodsky, President of Related Management. “Since 2009, Related Management has rolled-out its Smoke-Free Initiative to 125 apartment buildings representing approximately 20,000 residences. Sixteen of these buildings are in New York City and New Jersey. We are grateful to the American Cancer Society for its recognition of our efforts and their work to facilitate the further improvement of air quality and a healthier living environment for residents of multifamily buildings.”

Many property owners don’t realize that it is legal to have and enforce a smoke-free policy.  In fact, going smoke free is a savvy business strategy. Economic benefits include reduced costs to refurbish units after smokers vacate. Traditional cleanup of a smoking unit includes carpet cleaning, repainting, removing the stale odor of smoke, and repairing surfaces with burn marks.

In addition to the window decal, Healthy High-Rise buildings can receive a framed certificate and materials on smoking cessation to share with residents.

The first Healthy High-Rises awardees include more than 2,700 housing units and nearly 5,000 total residents who enjoy a smoke-free environment:

• Ariel West Condominium, 245 West 99th St. NY, NY 10025
• 1510 Lexington Ave. @ Carnegie Hill Place, 1510 Lexington Ave. NY, NY 10029
• Caroline Apartments, 210 Sherman Ave, NY, NY 10034
• River Court, 1065 Gerard Ave, Bronx, NY 10452
• Gerard, 1075 Gerard Ave, Bronx, NY 10452
• The Atrium East, 153 E 32nd St. NY, NY 10016
• Falcon Tower, 245 E 44th St. NY, NY 10017
• Gramercy Park Lofts, 270 Park Ave. South NY, NY 10010
• New York Plaza, Two Water St. NY, NY 10004
• New York Tower, 330 E 39th St. NY, NY 10016
• The Caroline, 60 W. 23rd St, NY, NY 10010
• Tower 67, 145 W 67th St. NY, NY 10023
• The Eltona, 429 E. 156th St. Bronx, NY 10455
• Arbor House, 770 E. 166th St. Bronx, NY 10456

For more information about how your building can become a Healthy High-Rise, contact the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345 or log onto smokefreehousingny.org. Multi-unit residential housing buildings that wish to apply for the Healthy High Rise award are asked to submit an application

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About the American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight. As the nation’s largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing more than $3.4 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. As a result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more about us or to get help, call us any time, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.