Smoke-Free Policies: Why do it?
There are three main reasons that multi-unit housing properties are going smoke-free: to keep up with industry trends, to provide health benefits to residents and employees, and to save money.
According to the National Center for Healthy Housing, smoke-free units are quickly becoming the industry standard in multi-unit housing.
Public Housing and Affordable Housing
In 2009, 2010, and 2012, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development issued notices strongly encouraging Public Housing Authorities and affordable housing managers to implement non-smoking policies. Between January 2005 and February 2010, the number of local housing authorities with smoke-free policies in some or all of their buildings increased from 17 to 141.
Click here to learn about N.C. property managers views about smoke-free policies as a growing trend.
Smoke-free housing supports public health and safety. Smoking materials are the leading cause of residential fire deaths, and the evidence is clear that secondhand smoke is harmful for health. Secondhand smoke causes respiratory problems, heart attacks, cancer, heart disease, and birth defects. Children, pregnant women, and elderly populations are especially vulnerable to the negative effects of secondhand smoke. In multi-unit housing, secondhand smoke travels from smokers’ units to non-smokers’ units and common areas. The only way to fully protect non-smokers from secondhand smoke is to eliminate smoking in indoor spaces. Air filtration and ventilation may improve air quality slightly but they do not remove enough of the tobacco contamination to make the air safe to breathe.
Click here to learn what N.C. property managers have to say about the health benefits of smoke-free policies.
Smoke-free housing is less expensive to maintain than housing that allows smoking. To clean a unit where a smoker has lived, owners spend two-to-three times as much as when cleaning a non-smoker’s unit. Smoking-related costs may include cleaning and repairs, trash removal, fire damage, fire insurance, other insurance, administrative costs and operating costs.
A cost study performed by Smoke-Free Housing New England in 2009 found the costs of rehabilitating a smoking unit were seven times higher than that of a non-smoking unit.
How much do you spend to rehabilitate a unit where a smoker has lived? Consider general cleaning, painting, and replacing or repairing vinyl flooring, carpets, countertops, and blinds.
Click here to learn more about cost savings at N.C. properties.