Tobacco Free Alachua Recognizes the Alachua County Housing Authority for Smokefree Policy

​This press release published at the request of the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County.

The Tobacco Free Alachua community partnership recognized the Alachua County Housing Authority (ACHA) for adopting a 100 percent smokefree policy for their residents and staff. Tobacco Free Alachua Chair, Victoria Hunter Gibney, presented an award plaque to ACHA Director, and the ACHA board of directors at their regular meeting on Wednesday, April 4, 2018.

This new policy aligns with federal guidelines from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD requires all public housing authorities to go smokefree. Last year, ACHA began proactively working with Tobacco Free Florida experts from the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County to plan and prepare for this change.

Victoria Hunter Gibney, Chair of the Tobacco Free Alachua community partnership applauded the GHA’s decision saying, “Smokefree housing is one of the best ways we can protect our families from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke.” She continues, “Many people don’t realize that in multi-unit housing, smoke is not contained to one apartment but can travel through gaps in walls, ventilation systems, and other spaces to surrounding units. The Alachua County Housing Authority’s smokefree policy will allow for all of their residents to breathe easier, free from exposure to secondhand smoke.”

This timely recognition comes during Tobacco Free Florida Week (April 2 – 8), which, this year, is themed Achieving Health Equity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 3 non-smokers who live in rental housing are exposed to secondhand smoke. Such exposure is even higher among those eligible for public housing. Additionally, low-income and minority children are more prone to have asthma, and secondhand smoke can trigger more frequent and severe attacks.

The new rule will prohibit lit tobacco products (cigarettes, cigars, pipes, etc.) in all living units, indoor common areas, administrative offices, and all outdoor areas of ACHA property.  ACHA residents and employees who would like to quit smoking tobacco are being offered free resources and group cessation classes as well as nicotine replacement patches to help them achieve their goal.

Community or business groups interested in going smokefree should contact Tobacco Free Alachua at 352-334-7914 or

For more information, contact John Michael Gonzales at 352-334-7914 or

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