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Apartment managers clear the air

Smoke-free policies on the rise in multi-unit housing

Bloomington’s Health Division had been offering assistance to adopt smoke-free policies in multi-unit housing. However, apartment managers said they feared losing revenue and how that would negatively impact the property. When apartment managers learned that 80 percent of residents in smoking-allowed properties support a no-smoking building policy, many changed their minds. Now, with the health division’s help, apartment managers are planning to adopt smoke-free policies and protect their residents’ health.

Read more about this story and the survey findings that changed minds.

Top five reasons we need to be asthma aware

May 2015

May is Asthma Awareness Month to raise awareness that asthma is a serious, sometimes life-threatening chronic disease that can be controlled. Asthma affects the airways in the lungs. During an asthma attack, airways become inflamed, making it hard to breathe. Asthma attacks can be mild, moderate, or serious — and even life threatening. In most cases, we don’t know what causes asthma, and we don’t know how to cure it. We know that if someone in your family has asthma you are more likely to have it.

What are the top five reasons we all need to be asthma aware?

  1. Asthma has no cure. We can help people with asthma to manage this serious, sometimes life-threatening disease if we are asthma-aware.
  2. Millions of Americans, including over 7 million children can have a better quality of life when we work together to reduce indoor and outdoor causes of asthma symptoms, also called asthma triggers. Learn more about asthma triggers and how to gain control. 
  3. We can protect small children from getting asthma by eliminating secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke is a risk factor for new cases of asthma in pre-school aged children because of their growing bodies.
  4. Asthma costs the United States $56 billion dollars annually in direct medical costs and indirect costs, such as lost work and school days. Being asthma aware can reduce this cost.
  5. We can protect elderly people from an increased risk for serious lung problems. Aging puts our growing number of elderly people at a greater risk for serious lung problems due to breathing harmful chemicals.

Asthma resources

Want to know more about asthma? Take the asthma quiz.

Click the question to reveal the answer.

What is an asthma attack?

Correct answer: b. When airways tighten and the lungs don’t get enough air

  1. When the lungs fill with water
  2. When airways tighten and the lungs don’t get enough air
  3. When the heart beats too fast
  4. When the heart and lungs are working too hard

Asthma can be cured.

Correct answer: False. Asthma is a serious, sometimes life-threatening chronic respiratory disease. Although there is no cure for asthma yet, it can be controlled through medical treatment and management of environmental triggers.

  1. True
  2. False.

Which of the following are potential asthma triggers?

Correct answer: d. All of the above

  1. Dust mites and cockroaches
  2. Pets
  3. Secondhand smoke
  4. All of the above

What can you do to reduce asthma triggers in your home?

Correct answer: d. All of the above

  1. Clean up mold with soap and water
  2. Don’t smoke in home
  3. Vacuum carpets, rugs and furniture often
  4. All of the above

Approximately how many Americans have asthma?

Correct answer: c. 25 million – Environmental Protection Agency programs to address indoor and outdoor environments that cause, trigger or exacerbate asthma symptoms improve the quality of life for millions of Americans.

  1. 1 million
  2. 10 million
  3. 25 million
  4. 50 million

How many American children are estimated to have asthma?

Correct answer: c. 7 million

  1. 500,000
  2. 3 million
  3. 7 million
  4. 25 million

Approximately one out of every 10 school-aged children has asthma.

Correct answer: a. True – Schools can have as many potential asthma triggers as those found in homes. Asthma is the third-ranking cause of hospitalization among children under age 15.

  1. True
  2. False

Approximately how many school days are missed each year due to asthma?

Correct answer: c. 10.5 million

  1. 5.3 million
  2. 8 million
  3. 10.5 million
  4. 12.7 million

Secondhand smoke increases the risk of preschool-aged children developing asthma

Correct answer: a. True. Secondhand smoke is a risk factor for new cases of asthma in pre-school-aged children. Secondhand smoke can also trigger asthma episodes and increase the severity of attacks. Children’s developing bodies make them more susceptible to the effects of secondhand smoke and, due to their small size, they breathe more rapidly than adults, thereby taking in more secondhand smoke.

  1. True
  2. False

Approximately how many emergency room visits each year are attributed to asthma?

Correct answer: b. 2 million – and also 15 million physician office and hospital outpatient department visits

  1. 1 million
  2. 2 million
  3. 2.5 million
  4. 5 million

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