The mission of Smokefree OC, a project of the American Lung Association in California, is to protect Orange County residents from the hazards of secondhand smoke exposure by increasing the number of smokefree environments indoors and out.
The project is currently focused on three main areas:
- Smokefree parks, playgrounds, beaches and other outdoor recreational areas
- Smokefree Mulit-Unit Housing
- Hookah lounges
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All residents have the right to clean and safe places to enjoy with their family and friends. Smokefree policies in parks, beaches and other outdoor recreational areas ensure children, families and all patrons are protected from the hazards of secondhand smoke and cigarette litter.
Many communities in Orange County already have policies in place to protect residents from secondhand smoke. Costa Mesa passed a policy in 2011 due to the efforts of Smokefree OC.
Smokefree OC is currently working to establish smokefree parks in Anaheim and Tustin.
Smokefree Multi-Unit Housing
The ability to live in a smokefree home is a choice that everyone should have. Unfortunately for those who live in multi-family buildings such as apartments and condominiums, breathing secondhand smoke from neighboring units has become a real health problem. Secondhand smoke exposure is dangerous at any level, and secondhand smoke often times seeps into neighboring units through cracks in the walls, ventilation systems and open windows.
In recent years, there has been a wealth of activity across the state as more and more communities have sought to protect those living in multi-unit housing from drifting secondhand smoke. You can see a list of communities that have done so here.
Smokefree OC has been working with landlords throughout Orange County who choose to voluntarily take steps to ensure the health of their residents by choosing to prohibit smoking in some or all of their properties. We commend those who take this step.
Hookah is a glass or metal water pipe that is used to smoke tobacco. It is becoming increasingly popular among youth and young adults as an alternative form of tobacco use. It poses the same damaging health effects as cigarette smoking, but it is often perceived as less harmful. According to the World Health Organization, smoking hookah for 45-60 minutes (average session length) can be equivalent to smoking 100 or more cigarettes.
In recent years, there has been tremendous growth in the number of hookah lounges in California. Some communities in Orange County, specifically the city of Santa Ana, have prohibited hookah lounges to protect the health of their residents.
Smokefree OC is also working in Costa Mesa to educate the community and city council about this dangerous activity.
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Need help quitting?
Listed below are resources to help you, or a loved one, quit smoking:
The American Lung Association Lung HelpLine offers free information from our Registered Nurses, Respiratory Therapists, and specialists to help you quit smoking and answer questions about lung health.
- Call the Lung HelpLine at 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872)
- Resources available in Spanish.
The OC Tobacco Use Prevention Program offers free quit classes, individual counseling and nicotine patches for Orange County residents.
- Call 1-866-NEW LUNG (639-5864)
- Resources available in Spanish and Vietnamese.