Letter to the Editor: Smoke-free apartments in Woodlake

Dear Editor,

Now that elections have passed, I hope that the new Woodlake City Council candidates have the ability to listen to our concerns to improve the health of our community. Especially, the health of families living in apartments.  

A family living in an apartment does not have the freedom to breathe clean air as we are regularly exposed to secondhand smoke. I am one of those families and I also speak for other families who live in an apartment where secondhand smoke affects our health. Between April 2019 and December 2021, 102 surveys were collected at multiple apartments in Woodlake and results indicated that 91% of residents were concerned about the health impact of secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke can cause lung diseases in adults and cause more frequent and severe asthma attacks in children. Families who have their own homes have the opportunity to live healthier lives by not inadvertently breathing secondhand smoke. More people need to be educated on the damage caused by secondhand smoke to children, the elderly, our pets, and our health. Living in an apartment is being vulnerable to exposing our lungs to toxins from secondhand smoke that other homeowners don’t have to worry about. 

A great solution for my family and everyone who lives in an apartment is for Woodlake to pass a policy that would indicate apartments be 100% smoke free. With this policy, we will have a better quality of life. 

I hope the work of the newly elected in Woodlake is to help and support the community that lives in an apartment live a healthier life.  

Sincerely, Cecilia Espinoza 

Promotora de Salud  

California Health Collaborative 

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