Just last July a new rule went into effect for public housing communities; a nationwide ban on smoking. The new law implemented by HUD prohibits the use of cigarettes, cigars and pipes in all public housing units and common areas.
Douglass Homes Tenant Council President Korey Perrin knew that she had to do something to help the residents she serves, because after all, quitting smoking is one of the hardest things to do!
Perrin started thinking of ways to help. Her strategic appeal became clear after attending a community advocates dinner at the invitation of Ronald Daniels, President of Johns Hopkins University . She was able to share her concerns with a couple of fellow advocates from MICA and Johns Hopkins. The group partnered to create the and then the Smoking Cessation Pilot Project collaboration.
The program began in January and appealed to anyone 18 and over interested in help to stop smoking. The program took place over a total of a 4-week training program that offered counseling and alternatives to smoking including free patches and gum.
Perrin says they were able to offer a cash incentive to qualifying participants. “We really wanted to give residents something to look forward too, so we also offered free legal and additional services they could take advantage of.” All in all, the program was a success and she hopes to offer it again soon.