A new study shows that for approximately one third of apartment and condo residents, secondhand smoke is seeping through the walls and traveling through ventilation systems. About 3.3 million New Jersey residents live in multi-unit housing.

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Fred Jacobs, M.D., is the former Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services and currently serves as the American Cancer Society’s chief medical officer for the New Jersey and New York regions. He says, “Home is supposed to be a safe place, but for 1.25 million New Jerseyans, home is where they are being exposed to toxic secondhand smoke from their neighbors.”

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in New Jersey. Secondhand smoke exposure causes lung cancer and is a deadly cocktail of more than 7,000 chemicals, including hundreds that are toxic and about 70 that can cause cancer.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network urges Governor Christie and the Legislature to enact legislation that informs potential multi-unit housing residents of the smoking policy of a particular building before a lease is signed,” says Jacobs. “That way, consumers can make a fully informed decision about the unit they are purchasing or renting.”