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Editorial: A win for public health

A letter to the editor published in Wednesday's Daily Globe outlined an initiative worthy of celebrating.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Worthington Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) marked its new smoke-free housing policy with a reception at the Atrium. The event represented a culmination of efforts involving the HRA and Southwest Community Health Improvement Program (C.H.I.P.) to, as letter writer Cheryl Avenel-Navara explained, promote "a healthier environment for their residents."

Avenel-Navara explained in her letter that residents in all HRA properties were surveyed about their "smoking behaviors ... and their desire to live in smoke-free housing or not." Following the survey, the HRA board opted to pass a smoke-free policy, with a target date of 12-12-12 that allowed smoking residents time "to seek assistance for quitting or options for alternative housing."

With assistance from Southwest C.H.I.P. - which offered multiple options for smoking cessation help - the Worthington HRA is now "the largest smoke-free housing program in the county," Avenel-Navara wrote. While we should hope the largest smoke-free housing program in the county is in Worthington - after all, Worthington is Nobles County's largest community - going smoke-free is a noteworthy accomplishment that, in general, promotes better public health. Congratulations are in order to all involved.