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Taking our breath back: Community initiative fights for smoke-free homes and fresh air

For decades, Black communities have been disproportionately affected by tobacco companies’ predatory marketing and the health consequences that result. Now a new initiative puts the power in the hands of residents to create smoke-free havens in their own neighborhoods.

The Taking Back Our Breath campaign, led by local health activists in partnership with Saving Our Legacy African Americans for Smoke-free Safe Places (SOL Project), aims to empower residents of unincorporated Sacramento County to advocate for smoke-free multi-unit housing and outdoor air protection. This is critical because, unlike many other cities, the province currently has no regulations guaranteeing smoke-free living spaces or protecting residents from exposure to second-hand smoke in outdoor areas.

Dr. J. Bianca Roberts, a primary care physician in Sacramento, says, “Research shows that passive smoking is just as dangerous as direct smoking, leading to lung cancer, heart disease and asthma attacks, especially in children.”