Legislation would ban smoking in senior housing facilities

LANSING — State Rep. Abdullah Hammoud (D-Dearborn) introduced House Bill 5370 this week to protect seniors from the dangers of secondhand smoke by implementing a ban on smoking in senior housing facilities throughout the state of Michigan. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) warns against the dangers and associated risks of inhaling secondhand smoke, especially for residents of multi-unit housing—many of which still allow residents to smoke in their units.

“The negative health risks, including cancer, become increasingly dangerous for seniors due to their age and any existing health conditions,” said Hammoud. “Even worse, smoke and other contaminants in the air can move freely through apartments and other multi-unit settings, meaning that just one resident can have grave impacts on the health of other community members. That is exactly why it’s so critical for us to take meaningful action and protect some of our most vulnerable residents from this public health risk.”

House Bill 5370 would specifically apply to senior housing facilities for individuals 62 years of age or older that are multi-unit residential buildings and receive subsidies, in whole or in part, through local, state or federal programs. This would build upon the already required ban on smoking in homes for the aged, nursing homes, county medical care facilities, hospice facilities, or long term care units at hospitals by current Michigan law.