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California Health Collaborative of San Bernardino County Raises Awareness on Third-Hand Smoke

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Where there’s no smoke, there’s a firestorm.

Many know that smoking and secondhand smoke are harmful to their health but very few are aware about the dangers of “third-hand smoke” exposure.

Third-hand smoke is the residue from tobacco smoke that accumulates on surfaces. It sticks to walls, windows and furniture or can settle as toxic dust in homes and cars. It even sticks to clothing and hair. The residue builds up in the environment, becoming more toxic over time, according to TobaccoFreeCA.com.

In San Bernardino County, the California Health Collaborative (CHC) has been crusading for tobacco-free apartment units since 2015. Through voluntary tobacco-free housing policies, CHC touts the benefits for renters, property managers and owners, said Roberto A. Terrones, Program Coordinator for San Bernardino County’s Tobacco Control Program.

Terrones said that many in the housing industry expect for tenants of apartment buildings to be against these types of tobacco free policies, but that is not the local nor state-wide sentiment when it comes to these changes. While there has been some blowback, he said, many tenants appreciate the new rules.

“We survey the tenants before we go smoke free. Some people think these smoking policies aren’t popular but we’ve seen that a lot of people are for it,” Terrones said. “People that were opposed don’t always smoke but they see it as a right being taken away. We’re not telling you that you can’t smoke but you have to smoke somewhere else outside of the property.”

One-third of Californians live in multi-unit housing, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Units share common walls, floors or a ceiling, which means that millions may be exposed to secondhand smoke even if they do not allow smoking in their home.

Nine out of 10 people do not smoke in their homes, Terrones said. About seven out of ten people who want tobacco free-housing are people that don’t smoke.

The importance of having tobacco-free housing is to protect the health of tenants, said Evi Hernandez, CHC Director of Program Services. Many times, Hernandez said, they are protecting people that cannot afford to live in single-family homes and those at highest risk for serious illness caused by tobacco smoke exposure, including children and the elderly.

“Among other things, any contact with third-hand smoke can cause skin irritation, trigger asthma attacks and lead to respiratory illnesses,” Hernandez said.” You don’t really see it in the form of smoke and if you’re not aware that it’s there, you can’t avoid it.”

Terrones said the county has been successful with subsidized housing because while many of the tenants’ love where they live, the smoke is killing them, he said. And for financial reasons, they are unable to move. “It’s essentially a trap,” Terrones said. “They can’t just pick up and leave because of their financial situation.”

Some have agreed to set aside a certain percentage of smoke-free units, but as Terrones said, “If you can smell what your neighbor is cooking, you can smell if they’re smoking.”

Long considered a health hazard, secondhand smoke seeps through doors, open windows, outlets and ventilation systems. The health benefits may be obvious, but decreasing the hidden financial costs are a bonus as well. Estimates to ready a unit for rent after a smoker has lived there could be in the thousands of dollars, Hernandez said.

“I’ve gone to these multi-complex houses and their blinds are completely yellow. You can’t get rid of the smell in the carpet. Sometimes the smoke is so pervasive it penetrates the walls and a treatment/paint plan can take weeks,” Terrones said. “It’s (another) benefit of multi-unit apartments to go smoke free.”

When an apartment complex goes tobacco-free, CHC offers a resource directory for tenants that includes local tobacco cessation resources and information about the California Smokers’ Helpline (1-800-NO-BUTTS). 

For further information, contact the County of San Bernardino Tobacco Control Program at (909) 647-4532 or go to sbctcp.blogspot.com

About The San Bernardino County Tobacco Control Program (SBCTCP)

The SBCTCP serves in the capacity of local lead agency for tobacco prevention, education and control efforts in San Bernardino County. With funding support from the California Department of Public Health – Tobacco Control Program, SBCTCP is administered by the California Health Collaborative to implement a comprehensive tobacco control plan that includes the following objectives: 

1) Retain and engage community members representing diverse/priority populations and non-traditional partner agencies in the San Bernardino County Tobacco Control Coalition; 

2) Partner with apartment managers/owners, apartment management companies, the Housing Authority of the County of San Bernardino, and tobacco control stakeholders to guide efforts that result in the adoption of smoke-free policies at multi-unit housing complexes; and 

3) Coordinate efforts by incorporated cities in San Bernardino County to adopt a policy that eliminates sales and distribution of tobacco and/or electronic nicotine delivery devices (ENDD) products in pharmacies where licensed professionals provide health care services. 

Program plan strategies were developed based on results of a community needs assessment and prioritization process and adhere to priority areas and guidelines set forth by the California Tobacco Control Program. 

United Nations of Consciousness honored at Second Annual California Non-Profits Day Celebration

San Bernardino, CA– On Wednesday, June 28, United Nations of Consciousness was honored as a Nonprofit of the Year at a celebration of California Nonprofits Day at the State Capitol in Sacramento.
United Nations of Consciousness (U.N.C) was selected by Assemblywoman Eloise Gomez Reyes as an exceptional nonprofit organization in her 47th district community. U.N.C joined nearly one hundred other nonprofit leaders from across the state being honored at the annual California Nonprofits Day event, formally recognized by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 54, authored by the chair of the new Assembly Select Committee on the Nonprofit Sector Assemblywoman Monique Limon (D-Santa Barbara).
United Nations of Consciousness is a grassroots, non-profit organization established in 2015, founded by Executive Director La’Nae Norwood. U.N.C provides direct services and resources to the community such as: cultural enrichment, education, entrepreneurship programs, awareness, advocacy, and youth programs like the U.N.C Youth Afterschool Program, and Summer Camp for disadvantaged, at-risk youth. U.N.C is also one of the leading San Bernardino partners in the #schoolsnotprisons campaign, which brings awareness to the community and leadership about harsh policies that incriminate youth of color through suspensions, expulsions, and citations in public schools. Since its inception, U.N.C has served over 3,000 families and is projected to expand and double in 2017.
“Recognition and support of this kind is an inspiration to grassroot organizations who sacrifice and work tirelessly to serve as positive change agents. Congratulations to all the other nonprofits who were recognized, we are honored to be esteemed with such distinguished organizations across the state of California. Assemblymember Reyes has shown genuine concern and has been a savvy partner with the willingness to tackle real issues and the concerns of her constituents.
A little over three years ago, l had a vision and started this organization with some of my childhood friends, knowing we would make a positive impact. Growing up in the Inland Empire, we were very familiar with the challenges. We jumped right in and started working in the neighborhoods with the most need. The rapid growth and success of United Nations of Consciousness is largely in part to dedication, collaboration and responding to the needs of the community. We are more committed than ever to unity, youth, social change and creating economic opportunities, while being a voice for African Americans. Courageous and honest perspectives are necessary for progression. We are unapologetic in our pursuit of cultivating equitable communities. United Nations of Consciousness is putting the unity back into the community, while expanding resources, reach and results.” – La’Nae Norwood, Founder and Executive Director.
The award recipients were honored at a luncheon held at Sacramento’s Convention Center, welcomed by Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, Assemblymember Limon, and Jan Masaoka, CEO of the California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofits). California Attorney General Xavier Becerra had also shared words of appreciation to the gathered honorees and their legislators.
“Nonprofit organizations are vitally important to the economy and well-being of California. But too often nonprofits are ‘hidden in plain sight.’ We are thrilled that the State Assembly has passed a resolution for the second year in a row that puts the spotlight on nonprofits as an economic power that uses that power for the common good. We congratulate all of the award recipients on being honored for the great work they do every day to make California a better place,” said Jan Masaoka, CEO of California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofits), a statewide alliance of over 10,000 organizations, representing and promoting California’s growing nonprofit sector and working to bring the full power of nonprofits to strengthening communities.

“Oh, I Know What Your Problem Is… You Done Forgot Where You Came From and Who Brought You Out!”


Lou Coleman

By Lou Coleman

Going around bragging that you’ve arrived! Well thus saith the Lord; “to the arrogant, ‘Boast no more,’ and to the wicked, ‘Do not lift up your horns.” [Psalms 75:4]. “You think you’ve arrived; but you haven’t arrived yet, says the Lord. Matter of fact your ship is about to sink. Your train is about to leave the station and you are about to experience the ride of your life. [Isaiah 2:12]. After I’m done with you, you will understand how blasphemous it is for you to take ANY of MY GLORY for yourself. Don’t you ever be lifted up in pride where you think it’s you, your talents, your abilities, and how great you are! It’s ALL ME and NOT you! It was Me who delivered you and set you free. It was Me who brought you out of bondage and poverty. It was Me who caused you to get wealth. But how quick you are to forget where I have brought you from. How quick you are to forget those times when you didn’t have a dime to your name. Just because you are in a good place and you seem to be able to provide well for yourself, don’t forget that it is I who has given you, not only the things you have, but also the very ability to provide for yourself.” You got me twisted! You better check yourself before you wreck yourself! It would do you good to remember where I’ve brought you from and where you could have been. If you want to maintain the blessings which I have granted you, then you would be wise to always remember that apart from me you can do nothing. The preposition is “apart” . . . from Me. The result is: nothing, zilch, naught, diddly squat, zippo, without Me! [John 15:5] You Got That!  “I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols…  because no man will get my glory!” [Isaiah 42:8]. “For My own sake, for My own sake, I will do it; For how should My name be profaned? And I will not give My glory to another.” [Isaiah 48:11].

I want you to know that the Bible plainly states that one of the things God hates above all others is pride. God tells us over and over that He resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Stealing God’s glory is not something that can be taken lightly!  We must understand that if we become arrogant, everything is taken away from us, our position, authority, power, and so on. Case in point, King Nebuchadnezzar [Daniel 4:29-31 34-37] As soon as Nebuchadnezzar said, “I did it,” God said, “The throne has left you.” When he became arrogant, God took away all his prosperity and power in a moment. [Proverbs 16:18] Nebuchadnezzar lost his sanity, wisdom and glory; for seven years, he lived like a wild animal, being drenched with the night dew in the grass of the field. Afterwards, he realized that everything came from God and that he had been foolish to think that he had done everything by himself. He truly repented, and as he praised and thanked God with a humble heart, God restored his sanity and wisdom.

Do not forget the Lord – Remember the fact that all grace and blessings come from God. And as [Deuteronomy chapter 8] says, “Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors. Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these [] years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these [] years. Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you. Observe the commands of the Lord your God, walking in obedience to him and revering him. For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills; a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills. When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you.  Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. He led you through the vast and dreadful wilderness, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. He gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never known, to humble and test you so that in the end it might go well with you. You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.”  But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today. If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed. Like the nations the Lord destroyed before you, so you will be destroyed for not obeying the Lord your God.”