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Smoke Free Housing Presentation

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This presentation goes over how easy it is to adopt a smoke free housing policy for apartment managers and explains how this type of policy is within their rights.

This presentation goes over how easy it is to adopt a smoke free housing policy for apartment managers and explains how this type of policy is within their rights.

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  • Approximately 53,000 people die annually from diseases caused by secondhand smoke, with hundreds of thousands more suffering ill effects from exposure. Multi-unit dwellings present a particular challenge for dealing with this significant health and nuisance problem. Tobacco smoke from one unit may seep through cracks, be circulated by a shared ventilation system, or otherwise enter the living space of another. You may wonder what you can do to mitigate some of these problems. The following information should help guide you to an informed decision about what corrective actions to take.
  • As a landlord, you can play a role in eliminating a significant cause of illness in the home and a major cause of preventable death in the United States: secondhand smoke. There is so much false information available to landlords about smoke-free policies, that you may find it difficult to make an informed decision.
  • 80% of Wichitans are non smokers and with the economic down-turn, more “middle class” folks might be interested in multi-family housing option, but if they stink, many will not rent from them.
  • In fact, non-smokers with serious breathing disabilities or smoke allergies actually have legal protection under federal and state laws. The right to smoke is not protected under law, according to the opinion of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). As long as the policy is not used to target a protected class or minority, a building manager is legally free to restrict or prohibit smoking. Let us tell you more about smoking myths vs. reality, landlords' rights and your risks. We'll also show you how to save money, save your building, and give you tools for going smoke-free in your building.
  • Reality: Actually, you can save money by implementing a smoke-free policy. You will reduce wear and tear, and save on cleaning and re-painting costs. According to a 2004 survey done by the Sanford Housing Authority, it costs twice as much or more to turn over a unit in which the resident had smoked compared with one rented by a non-smoker. You may also save money by reducing the risk of fire. In the U.S. in 2002, an estimated $926 million in damages occurred in apartment fires - of which cigarette smoking is the leading cause. (Source: NFPA Fire Analysis and Research; Fire Loss in the U.S. During 2002). Some insurance carriers also offer a premium reduction if your property is smoke-free.
  • Reality: In Maine, 90% of voters agree that people should be protected from secondhand smoke. According to recent surveys conducted in Maine, nearly 75% of renters would prefer to live in smoke-free apartments. Surveys taken in other parts of the country show a similar preference for smoke-free apartments. For example, in a 2003 survey in Washington state, two-thirds of renters surveyed preferred smoke-free housing. Seventy-five percent of Michigan renters do not smoke; currently most cannot find smoke-free apartments to rent. We can show you how to go smoke-free while keeping your existing smoking tenants happy too. (Source: Various surveys; click here to see surveys .)
  • Reality: Once you implement a policy, smoking will be so noticeable that you are likely to hear about it from other residents. Enforcing a smoking policy is a lot less of a headache than mediating disputes between smokers and non-smokers without a policy in place. You must be prepared to follow through with consequences; for example, two warnings, then termination of the lease. Now that you know the facts, you may be ready for planning and communication tools that make going smoke-free easier.
  • When the website changes to feature smoke-free housing, we will issue a press release!
  • Transcript

    • 1. Smoke-Free Housing Provided By: Tobacco Use Prevention Program Staff at Sedgwick County Health Department
    • 2. "Currently, the only way to effectively eliminate health risk associated with indoor exposure is to ban smoking activity." American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers
    • 3.
      • "Smoke-free apartment communities not only promote a healthy resident population, but also a healthy bottom line for owners and investors." -Dave Watkins, Chairman of the Board of the National Apartment Association
    • 4. Secondhand Smoke
      • Secondhand smoke is the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States.
      • Approximately 53,000 people die annually from diseases caused by secondhand smoke, with hundreds of thousands more suffering ill effects from exposure.
    • 5.  
    • 6.
      • Tenants want to breathe smoke free air in their apartments;
      • Drifting secondhand smoke is a health hazard and decreases tenants' quality of life;
      • It is legal to adopt a non-smoking policy;
      • A non-smoking policy saves you money:
        • Reduce maintenance costs
        • Reduce turn-over time and costs
        • Reduce fire risk
      • Non-smoking units are easy to fill because most tenants want to live in a non-smoking building.
    • 7.
      • The most important fact? A smoke-free policy is NOT discriminatory.
    • 8. Myths vs. Reality
      • Myth 1:
      • If I implement a smoke-free policy, I will lose money.
    • 9. Myths vs. Reality
      • Myth 2:
      • A smoke-free policy will alienate tenants. I will lose valuable residents.
    • 10. Myths vs. Reality
      • Myth 3:
      • Enforcing a smoke-free policy would be too difficult.
    • 11. Save Money, Save Your Building
      • Some interesting facts:
        • Maintenance Savings
        • Risk of Fire- Smoking is the leading cause of household fires. Of the property completely destroyed in 2002, an estimated $6.055 billion occurred in residential structures, an estimated $926 million of which occurred in apartments. (NFPA Fire Analysis and Research, Fire Loss in the U.S. During 2002.)
        • Improved Resale Value
    • 12. How To Make Your Buildings Smoke-Free
      • Step 1:
      • Survey Residents
        • How many smokers/nonsmokers?
        • Demand for smoke-free housing/units?
        • How many buildings/units should be nonsmoking?
        • Handout - Healthy Air Survey
    • 13. How To Make Your Buildings Smoke-Free
      • Step 2:
      • Phase-In Changes
        • Decide when to make change: pick a date, or phase-in as residents turn-over
        • Change lease provisions
          • Provide copy of policy
          • Have residents sign that they understand!
        • Place Clear signs around the property
    • 14. What To Include In Your Policy
      • List of the places where smoking is and is not allowed
      • Who the policy applies to (tenants, guests, staff, service persons, etc.)
      • Who is responsible for enforcing the rule
      • Consequences for violations
      • Effective date of the policy
      • Definition of smoking
      • Whether to have a designated smoking area outside (make sure it is located 25 feet away from doors, windows, and major walkways)
      • Sample Policy handout
    • 15. How To Make Your Buildings Smoke-Free
      • Step 3:
      • Notice, Notice, Notice!
        • Give tenants at least the same amount of notice as the time period for which they pay rent – 30 days
        • 60 or 90 days notice is even better
        • Designate which units are smoke-free – or all of them
        • Make the smoke-free policy part of the new applicant process
        • Include “no smoking” in tenant responsibilities
        • Create outdoor smoking areas, if you wish
    • 16. How To Make Your Buildings Smoke-Free
      • Step 4:
      • What will this cost?
        • Policy and lease agreement development: $0 (see handout)
        • Tenant education and Policy Promotion: cost of photo-copying
        • Smoke-free policy signs: $10 to $25 each
        • Smoke-free property: Priceless!
    • 17.  
    • 18. Fire damages Commodore Apartments – February 6, 2009 Wichita, KS
      • Wichita Eagle:
      • Careless smoking ignited a fire that damaged an apartment at the Commodore Apartments early this morning…. The resident of Apartment 713 told authorities he was smoking when he fell asleep on the sofa. He woke up and decided to go to the bathroom.
      • When he came back out, the sofa was on fire…. The damage estimate for the fire has been set at $40,000.
    • 19. Kansas Tobacco Quitline
    • 20.  
    • 21. Resources
      • American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation
      • http ://no-smoke.org/document.php?id=214
      • Smoke-free Oregon http://www.smokefreeoregon.com/housing/landlords/how-to_guide.php
      • How Landlords Can Prohibit Smoking in Rental Housing http://talc.phlaw.org/pdf_files/0076.pdf
    • 22. Becky Tuttle Hilary Meister 660-7251 660-7198 [email_address] [email_address]

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