Majority of LA rental units remain unprotected from secondhand smoke despite HUD ruling

[ Posted on December 1st, 2016 by Center Communications | No Comments » ]

smokefreelogoRenters living in approximately 780,000 privately owned rental units remain unprotected from secondhand smoke in the city of Los Angeles, despite the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announcement that public housing developments in the U.S. will be required to provide a smoke-free environment for their residents.

“This is terrific news,” said Peggy Toy, director of UCLA-Smokefree Air For Everyone (UCLA-SAFE). “But in the city of Los Angeles, public housing is only a small share of the housing stock. We need to make sure all residents in the rest of the city’s multi-unit rentals also have protection from secondhand smoke.”

More than 3,100 public housing agencies (PHAs) across the nation can now put in place required smoke-free policies over the next 18 months.

The federal ruling prohibits lit tobacco products (cigarettes, cigars or pipes) in all living units, indoor common areas, administrative offices and all outdoor areas within 25 feet of housing and administrative office buildings.

There are only 6,500 public housing units in the city, according to the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles. In comparison, there are 780,000 privately owned rental units in the city, of which approximately 624,000 of them (80 percent) are under rent-control, according to The Los Angeles Housing Department.  None of these privately-owned units will benefit from the new HUD protections.

UCLA-SAFE launched a smoke-free housing initiative in Los Angeles in April 2016 that encourages owners of market-rate multi-unit apartments in densely populated areas of the city to voluntarily put in place smoke-free policies to reduce residents’ exposure to secondhand smoke.

UCLA-SAFE, supported by a $3 million grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, focuses its efforts on densely populated neighborhoods in the city of Los Angeles where a high proportion of Latinos and African-Americans live. The two groups have among the highest rates of chronic disease, including diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

In conjunction with the campaign kickoff, UCLA Center for Health Policy Research released a study that showed a majority of tenants favored smoke-free apartments, but 80 percent of units did not have smoke-free policies.

The CDC estimates cigarette smoking kills 480,000 Americans each year, making it the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, according to the HUD press release. In addition, smoking is the leading cause of fire-related deaths in multifamily buildings.

After the election, Center researchers provide expert commentary to media on the possible future of the ACA

[ Posted on November 20th, 2016 by Center Communications | No Comments » ]

lat_20161119_kominski_opedImmediately after the November 8 election results, dozens of reporters began contacting Center experts with questions about what America could expect if President-elect Trump makes good on his vow to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act: Should people re-enroll in health exchanges for 2017? Could California keep its own health exchange even if the federal exchange was repealed? What could the “replacement” plan involve?

Director Gerald Kominski, Associate Director Steven P. Wallace, Director of Research Nadereh Pourat, and Faculty Associate Shana Alex Charles were cited in dozens of “future of the ACA” stories in the Sacramento Bee, Los Angeles Times, New Scientist, KCRW, CNBC, California Matters, and many more.

A sampling of stories: (more…)

Goal in So. LA: Get older adults to use preventive services

[ Posted on October 5th, 2016 by Center Communications | No Comments » ]

african senior patient with female nurseMany older African-Americans and other ethnic and racial minorities go without flu shots, cancer screenings and other preventive health tests for a variety of reasons, from lack of access to those services to a strong belief that some of them could be harmful, said Peggy Toy, project director of the Center’s Healthy Aging Partnerships in Preventative Initiative (HAPPI).

In South Los Angeles, where residents have a higher risk for chronic diseases and could benefit from early care, the Center recently awarded eight community groups $140,000 to fund pilot projects designed to increase use of six kinds of preventive clinical services among residents 50 and older.

“Our goal is to connect at least 300 older residents to preventive services and to spread awareness about the importance of preventive services to many more,” said Toy.

Read the full press release about the awards.

Read a related interview with Peggy Toy.

 

http://healthpolicy.ucla.edu/newsroom/press-releases/pages/details.aspx?NewsID=256

 

http://healthpolicy.ucla.edu/newsroom/three-questions/pages/detail.aspx?ExpertID=90

Wallace on LA’s current and future “hidden poor” elders

[ Posted on October 5th, 2016 by Center Communications | No Comments » ]
Steve_Wallace-cropped

Wallace

Los Angeles is home to about 200,000 ‘hidden poor’ elders who aren’t poor according to national poverty standards, but still can’t afford to make ends meet, said Steven P. Wallace, associate director at UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, on the KCRW series “Going Gray in LA.”

Wallace said about half of the state’s older ethnic and racial minorities currently live below the Elder Index, which measures the actual cost of food, housing, transportation, health care and other expenses by region.

And who are the state’s future ‘hidden poor”? One “prospective” group: retiring, middle-class people who currently can make ends meet but may struggle once they retire. He said the average life expectancy is 80, which means someone who retires at 65 needs a nest egg big enough to fund 15 more years. At least.

“But God forbid they continue living longer. And we’re living longer every year, so when they reach 90 and have no money and no pension, they’ll be in this hidden poor group as well,” Wallace said.

Read the full story. Read about the Elder Index poverty measure.

New on AskCHIS! California health data by industry, occupation

[ Posted on September 14th, 2016 by Center Communications | No Comments » ]
askchis2-0How much does the health of California workers compare from industry to industry? Which workers have the highest, or lowest, rates of health insurance? You can now search and easily compare health, demographic and insurance topics by industry and occupation on the free web query tool AskCHIS.

According to 2014 data, workers in education, health care and social assistance had high rates of excellent/good self-rated health and health coverage ― more than 90 percent of this group had insurance.

Find details on how to search AskCHIS by type of industry and occupation here.

Soda taxes decrease consumption, study reports

[ Posted on September 12th, 2016 by Center Communications | No Comments » ]

Consumption of sugary beverages such as soda dropped 21 percent and water consumption rose 63 percent after a soda tax was passed in Berkeley in 2014, according to a study featured on Kidsdata.org.

Related 2013-2014 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) data (shown below) charted on the website estimate almost 60% of teens drink at least one sugar-sweetened beverage daily:kids_soda

Wonder how much soda/sugar-sweetened beverages adults drink? Find adult rates by ZIP code on AskCHIS NE.

 

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