Milestone, Inc. marks smoke-free anniversary

Milestone, Inc. marks smoke-free anniversary

By By Rod Myers

By Rod Myers

Freelance Writer

Milestone, Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides supervised housing and other services for the developmentally challenged, is marking the 10th anniversary of its first smoke-free apartment complex. In the spring of ’92, Milestone’s Strathmoor apartments, located on Strathmoor Drive, went smoke free, thanks to Milestone Executive Director Jim Hamilton and Strathmoor residents who disdained tobacco smoke.

Jim Hamilton commented on the anniversary. “We simply gave the majority of Strathmoor residents what they wanted—clean air.” Four years ago, smoking was banned in the remaining 38 Milestone housing complexes throughout the Rockford area. Milestone’s Strathmoor apartments were the first federally subsidized rented units in the nation to go smoke free.

According to the American Cancer Society, second-hand tobacco smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, 40 of which are known or suspected to cause cancer. The following statistics include people living in the United States only. Second-hand smoke causes 3,000 lung cancer deaths a year and 35,000 to 40,000 heart attacks a year. In children under 18 months of age, secondhand smoke causes 150,000 to 300,000 respiratory infections annually—15,000 of which require hospitalization. Secondhand smoke intensifies more than 2 million asthma attacks a year.

According to the American Cancer Society, making your home smoke free is perhaps one of the most important things you can do. Any family member can develop health problems related to secondhand smoke. People spend more time at home than anywhere else.

FYI—Sidestream smoke: Smoke that comes from a lighted cigarette, pipe or cigar.

Mainstream smoke: Smoke that is exhaled by a smoker.

In the United States, one in five of all deaths are caused by smoking.

Milestone’s Strathmoor apartments were opened in 1980 and were originally built for the physically challenged. To date, two of the six residents are physically challenged. The other four are developmentally challenged. Joe Roling, a resident at the complex, commented, “My smoke-free home makes life much more enjoyable and gives my asthma a break.”

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