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University of Florida Recognized for Smoke-Free Housing

By Florida Department of Health, Office of Communications

July 24, 2013

July 24, 2013

Contact: Communications Office
(850) 245-4111
or Victoria Martinez
(305) 572-1387


GAINESVILLE—Smoke-free multi-unit housing, a growing trend throughout the country, has made its way to Florida. The University of Florida’s Department of Housing and Residence Education was recognized today by the Florida Department of Health’s Bureau of Tobacco Free Florida. Florida’s State Surgeon General, Dr. John Armstrong was joined by Associate Vice President for Student Affairs Norb Dunkel to recognize the University of Florida’s efforts.

“It is important to recognize property owners who protect the health and well-being of their tenants,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong. “Thanks to UF’s leadership, students will be able to breathe clean air. UF has set a standard that should be modeled by academic institutions across our great state.”

“The Department of Housing and Residence Education continues to advance healthy lifestyles for students. We believe it is important for students to understand and practice healthy lifestyles while in college which will lead to healthy lifestyles after graduation. This is a milestone in the support of our students,” said Norb Dunkel, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs.

The Continuum, an off-campus graduate housing community was also recognized by the Department of Health for its commitment to creating a healthy environment for tenants.

Tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals and compounds, hundreds of which are toxic and at least 69 proven to cause cancer. Exposure, even for short periods of time, can be dangerous. Smoke-free properties can protect non-smoking tenants from the dangerous effects of secondhand smoke, which can move along air ducts, through cracks in the walls and floors, through elevator shafts, and along plumbing and electrical lines affecting units that are nearby.

For property managers and landlords, smoke-free policies can have economic benefits. Smoke-free policies can eliminate the need to repair or replace carpeting, floors, fixtures, countertops or appliances damaged by burns or nicotine stains. At the end of a lease, smoke-free units require less turnover time due to fewer preparation and repainting needs.

In July 2010, The University of Florida was the first university campus in the state to go smoke-free. “We are excited to honor the University of Florida and the Continuum as innovators at the forefront of the smoke-free housing movement. This is another great step toward Florida’s vision to be the healthiest state in the nation.” said Florida Department of Health in Alachua County Administrator Paul Myers.


DOH’s Tobacco Free Florida campaign is a statewide cessation and prevention campaign funded by Florida’s tobacco settlement fund.

Tobacco users interested in quitting are encouraged to use one of the state’s three ways to quit. To learn about Tobacco Free Florida and the state’s free quit resources, visit or follow the campaign on Facebook at or Twitter at

DOH works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

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