2016-12-29 / News

25% of Tribal Housing Units To Be Designated Smoke Free

The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians has established that 25% of its tribal housing units will be smoke free at each of the nine housing locations across the tribe’s seven-county area. This equates to 108 homes free of second-hand and third-hand smoke.

The change, announced December 20, comes in response to a tenant survey last year to collect information about their knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about tobacco use and secondhand smoke, in which 64% of respondents indicated they prefer a smoke-free home.

After implementing the 25% designation set by the housing board commission, the number of smoke-free homes increases almost tenfold, from 12 units to 108.

To implement the initiative, the newly designated smoke-free homes will receive a moderate restoration, which includes thorough cleaning and painting. Housing units are then designated free of second-hand and third-hand smoke, making a healthy new beginning for each home and its occupants.

The survey project was spearheaded by Sault Tribe health educator Colin Welker. Mr. Welker worked with Sault Tribe Community Health in collaboration with Sault Tribe Housing Authority and Housing Board of Commissioners.

“Receiving that kind of support was critical for the success of the project,” said Mr. Welker.

The program was established as part of the Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country grant from the Centers for Disease Control.

Nonsmoking initiatives like this, coupled with previous campaigns, like converting hotel rooms and lobby areas to smoke free at Kewadin Shores Casino in St. Ignace, point to progress already made in this area by the Sault tribe.

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