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Pinellas Habitat for Humanity goes tobacco-free

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Volunteers helping to rehab and build houses for Pinellas Habitat for Humanity will no longer be able to smoke while working.

The organization has declared its worksites, offices and its ReStore retail shop to be tobacco-free.

“Once we learned of the devastating effects of secondhand smoke and the fact that more than 50,000 children and adults die from it, we wanted to safeguard anyone having close proximity to the houses that we are building as well,” said Michael Sutton, the organization’s chief executive officer.

The move was made with technical help from the Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County’s staff.

Known for assisting low-income families with housing built by volunteers, Pinellas Habitat for Humanity wanted to help ensure the health and safety of staff. But, in addition to protecting its employees, Habitat took it one step further to making the properties they are building tobacco free, too.

Each property will have a sign announcing that it’s a smoke-free site.

The Pinellas organization is the local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a global, not-for-profit housing organization that builds homes for low-income families.

Since 1985, Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas has been creating homeownership opportunities for low-income people and households with the help of the Pinellas County community. Habitat for Humanity works in partnership with low-income families and individuals to engage community volunteers and corporate, civic and faith organizations to help build and renovate affordable housing.

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