You are here: Home / Communications / News / NWCPHP Helps King County Promote Smoke-Free Housing

NWCPHP Helps King County Promote Smoke-Free Housing

NWCPHP designed a digital postcard for Public Health - Seattle & King County to help promote smoke-free housing.

NWCPHP designed a digital postcard for Public Health - Seattle & King County to help the health department promote smoke-free housing.

February 4, 2014

Last August, at the jointly held 2013 Summer Institute and second Leadership Institute onsite, participants could enter a drawing for the chance to work with our communications team to promote an agency program or activity. A staff member from Public Health - Seattle & King County won the contest and selected the organization’s smoke-free housing initiative for promotion.

Smoke-free housing is increasingly seen as a win-win for residents and property managers because it promotes health while potentially reducing maintenance, renovation, and insurance costs. In Washington State, 86 percent of renters prefer smoke-free living, yet not everyone has this option. Secondhand smoke can drift to nearby units and contribute to cancer, heart disease, respiratory distress, sudden infant death syndrome, and other illnesses.

Public Health - Seattle & King County wants to share information about their program with housing providers throughout the county to help them establish smoke-free units at their properties.

Health Educator Michael Leon-Guerrero works with the county’s Tobacco Prevention Program. He explains, “Property managers are busy people so we try to make it easier for them to create healthy environments. We will use the digital postcard to get their attention and connect them with useful resources.”

Organizations that manage at least one multi-unit, residential rental property within King County can apply for grants to help them go smoke free. Such activities include surveys, tenant meetings, education for unit managers, education materials, and signage.

NWCPHP Communication Specialist Meghan Fitzpatrick worked with tobacco prevention staff to develop a product that would spread these messages and encourage enrollment in the new program. She explains, "We modeled the digital postcard design on our monthly We Are Public Health series, which combines compelling images with short, descriptive text."

Fitzpatrick continues, "It is always a pleasure to work with our partners since it offers a special peek into the vital programs and work they do."

For more information on smoke-free housing, contact or visit

The 2014 Summer Institute, held August 4–7 in Seattle, is now enrolling. Visit our training page for more information on courses and costs.


We love public health stories! We feature them in our postcard series, Spotlight on the Field, and news items. Please contact us to share your story!