Smoke-free apartment buildings are becoming the wave of the future and their numbers are increasing virtually daily. As the serious health effects of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), or secondhand smoke, have become better understood, the seepage of ETS into apartments and condominiums has emerged as a growing area of controversy for tenants and building owners alike. Clearly, virtually all tenants find secondhand smoke which enters their residence from their neighbors to be an annoyance and a discomfort, but for some persons it is also a cause of serious illness or the precipitant of significant health problems. For landlords or condominium associations, the issue of ETS seepage creates unwanted concerns and tensions, but also potential legal and liability problems, as evidenced by the increasing number of lawsuits resulting from these situations.
In this section of the SFELP web site, we have included information on methods of addressing these issues. We have presented suggestions for dealing amicably with these situations, and we have also reviewed the types of legal actions and theories which can be pursued when all else fails. We have also provided direct links to other web sites which have relevant information on this issue. Additional materials will be added to this site on a regular basis. The information provided herein is written for a wide range of audiences, including tenants, property owners and the legal profession. These materials and links to other sources are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended to be and should not be construed as legal advice.
The Public Opinion on Smoke-Free Environments portion of the SFELP site includes a section titled Public Opinion Surveys on Smoke-Free Apartment Topics which has links to a number of surveys completed in recent years to determine public support for various types of smoke-free apartment policies. To access this section of the SFELP site, click here and scroll down to the section.
Our award-winning MISmokeFreeApartment web site includes detailed information on reasons why smoke-free apartments make sense for landlords and tenants and are in conformity with the law. The site also includes a Listing of Smoke-Free Apartments in Michigan. To access the overall site at http://www.mismokefreeapartment.org, click here. To access the Smoke-Free Apartment Listing at http://www.mismokefreeapartment.org/listing.html, click here.
In addition, the SFELP site contains a section on ETS & Condominiums which has information on this topic, as well as links to a number of other materials and web sites devoted to this issue. To access the site, click here.
LISTING OF PUBLIC HOUSING AUTHORITIES / COMMISSIONS WHICH HAVE ADOPTED SMOKE-FREE POLICIES
The Smoke-Free Environments Law Project maintains this up-dated listing of all the public housing authorities/commissions in the U.S. that we know of which have adopted smoke-free policies for one or more of their apartment buildings. The listing is done largely in the order in which the policies have been adopted, and with data which is as accurate as we can make it, but we canŐt vouch for its accuracy. As of January, 2011, at least 230 local housing authorities had adopted smoke-free policies for some or all of their apartment buildings, with about 214 being adopted since the beginning of January, 2005; an average of over 2.9 per month. That constitutes an increase in the number of housing authorities with smoke-free policies of almost 1,300% in 72 months. The 27 states with such policies, with the number of individual local housing authorities with smoke-free policies in parentheses, include Michigan (55), Minnesota (34), Nebraska (24), Maine (20), Colorado (16), Washington (14), Oregon (14), New Hampshire (10), New Jersey (9), California (8), Alaska (4), Idaho (3), Utah (3), Wisconsin (2), Arkansas (2), Florida, Montana, Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Texas, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Illinois, New York and Kansas. To access the listing, in pdf format, click here.
HUD MULTI-FAMILY HOUSING ISSUES NOTICE ENCOURAGING OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT AGENTS TO IMPLEMENT SMOKE-FREE POLICIES
On September 15, 2010 the HUD Multi-Family Housing section issued a Notice in which they encouraged owners and management agents of HUD Multi-Family Housing rental assistance programs, such as Section 8, to adopt and implement smoke-free policies for some or all their properties. The Notice provides guidance to owners and managers on how to implement such policies. The Notice tells owners and managers to implement smoke-free policies by updating their House Rules. This Notice is similar to one HUD issued on July 17, 2009 to public and Indian housing authorities and demonstrates HUD's commitment to protecting the health of residents. To access a copy of the HUD Notice, click here.
SMOKE-FREE MULTI-UNIT HOUSING: CHANGING THE LANDSCAPE OF MICHIGAN & AMERICA
At the September 9, 2010 Fall Conference of NAHRO-Michigan, SFELP's Jim Bergman gave a presentation titled Smoke-Free Multi-Unit Housing: Changing the Landscape of Michigan & America. The presentation and the accompanying PowerPoint provided information about the dramatic changes that have occurred in the past decade in smoke-free housing nationally and in Michigan, particularly related to public housing and other affordable housing. It also presented information on how and why to go smoke-free and included many slides of public housing and other affordable housing entities that have smoke-free policies. You can view and download the PowerPoint presentation by clicking here. You can also view and download a pdf version by clicking here.
SECONDHAND SMOKE SEEPAGE INTO MULTI-UNIT AFFORDABLE HOUSING
This Law Synopsis, which was issued in April, 2010 by the Tobacco Control Legal Consortium and written by SFELP Consulting Attorney Susan Schoenmarklin, discusses smoke-free policies in public and other affordable housing. The synopsis analyzes the legal issues, HUD policies, and how to adopt smoke-free policies. To access the Law Synopsis, click here.
SMOKE-FREE MULTI-UNIT HOUSING IN MICHIGAN & THE NATION: A DECADE OF ENORMOUS GROWTH
The following is from an end-of-the-year 2009 SFELP press release: "As the first decade of the 21st century ends, we find that the growth in Michigan and nationally in smoke-free multi-unit housing has been enormous -- going from virtually no smoke-free housing in 2000 to many hundreds of thousands of units today," according to Jim Bergman, Co-Director of The Center for Social Gerontology, Inc. in Ann Arbor, Michigan, which operates the Smoke-Free Environments Law Project (SFELP). "In 2000, it was virtually impossible to find apartment or condominium buildings that were smoke-free in all the living units, as well as the common areas. This was true in Michigan and in almost every state in the nation. By 2005, a number of states, including Michigan, Maine, Minnesota, and California had begun to develop a growing supply of smoke-free apartments. By the end of the decade, virtually every state has smoke-free multi-unit housing available, and many states have thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of smoke-free units," said Bergman. ... In public housing, funded by the federal Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) and other federal and state entities, the growth in smoke-free housing has been equally as great, if not greater. In 2000, there were only two public housing authorities in the nation that had smoke-free policies for some or all their buildings (Kearney, NE and Fort Pierce, FL). By the end of 2003, just eleven housing authorities had smoke-free policies. By January, 2005, that number had only risen to fifteen. But, then the growth sky-rocketed. As of December, 2009, at least 136 public housing authorities in 19 states had adopted smoke-free policies for some or all their buildings. The growth in the entire decade was 6700%; since December, 2003, the growth was 1136%; and the growth in the past 5 years has been over 800%. In Michigan, the Cadillac Housing Commission was the first public housing authority to adopt a smoke-free policy, doing so in July, 2005. Today, thirty-two local Michigan housing commissions have adopted smoke-free policies, covering about 56 apartment buildings/developments and over 60 townhouses/scattered site units, with about 4,158 apartment units. That is a 3100% increase in the 48 months since January, 2006. To access the full press release, in pdf format, click here.
UTAH 2010 TOBACCO PREVENTION & CONTROL CONFERENCE: SMOKE-FREE MULTI-UNIT HOUSING: BLAZING TRAILS – RAPIDLY
The Utah Tobacco Prevention and Control Program held its annual statewide conference in Salt Lake City on January 12, 2010. Among other presentations, Jim Bergman of SFELP did two presentations on Smoke-Free Multi-Unit Housing: Blazing Trails – Rapidly. One session was for housing authority directors and staff, and the second was for health and tobacco control professionals. To access the 57-slide PowerPoint that Bergman used, click here. To access a pdf copy of the ppt presentation, click here.
SMOKE-FREE PUBLIC HOUSING: IT'S LEGAL, PROFITABLE & HUD SUPPORTS IT
On August 26, 2009 at the Texas Housing Association Annual Conference in Fort Worth, SFELP Director Jim Bergman gave a presentation of the above title. The presentation focused on smoke-free policies in public housing, with special attention to the HUD notice issued on July 17, 2009 in which HUD strongly encouraged public housing authorities (PHAs) to adopt smoke-free policies for some or all their buildings. Included in the 56-slide PowerPoint presentation was additional information on ways in which HUD was now encouraging PHAs to adopt smoke-free policies, including in their 2009 Healthy Homes Strategic Plan and in their scoring for the award of HUD stimulus funds to PHAs. Also included in the presentation was information on the cost savings and fire prevention reasons for adopting smoke-free policies, as well as demographic and marketing reasons for doing so. Examples were provided of public housing and other affordable housing entities that have adopted smoke-free policies, as well as housing industry trends. To access the 56-slide PowerPoint presentation, click here. To access a pdf copy of the presentation, with 6-slides per page, click here.
HUD ISSUES NOTICE STRONGLY ENCOURAGING PUBLIC HOUSING AGENCIES TO ADOPT SMOKE-FREE POLICIES
On July 17, 2009 the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a Notice (PIH-2009-21 (HA)) titled "Non-Smoking Policies in Public Housing". The notice stated that HUD "strongly encourages Public housing Authorities (PHAs) to implement non-smoking policies in some or all of their public housing units." The notice goes on to encourage PHAs to adopt smoke-free policies in their buildings, including in common areas and in individual units. The HUD notice describes the health problems associated with secondhand smoke and also points out the additional costs to PHAs of rehabbing units in which smokers have lived. This is an extremely important statement by HUD and is likely to encourage many more PHAs to adopt smoke-free policies. Prior to this Notice, about 120 PHAs had already adopted smoke-free policies for some or all their buildings. To access the HUD notice on the SFELP site, click here.
HUD HEALTHY HOMES STRATEGIC PLAN 2009
On July 9, 2009, the HUD Secretary issued the HUD Healthy Homes Strategic Plan for 2009. This plan sets forth a variety of ways of making homes safer, including ridding them of lead paint. Among the strong recommendations is adopting smoke-free policies in all homes, including in multi-unit dwellings such as apartments and condominiums. To access the full document in pdf format, click here.
SMOKE-FREE MULTI-UNIT HOUSING IN MICHIGAN: 0 TO 100,000s IN 5 YEARS
On April 30, 2009 at a smoke-free housing meeting in Quebec City, Quebec, SFELP Director Jim Bergman presented an overview of the smoke-free multi-unit housing initiative in Michigan and other parts of the United States. The presentation was a part of an all-day meeting sponsored by the Non-Smokers' Rights Association of Canada (NSRA). Other speakers included Francois Damphousse and Pippa Beck of NSRA, Karine Fournier, Esq., and Jack Boomer of the Clean Air Coalition of British Columbia. Bergman's presentation described the successes Michigan health partners have had in the past 5 years in assisting apartment owners to adopt smoke-free policies for well over 100,000 rental units statewide. He also discussed how this was achieved and the barriers that had to be overcome. To access the 45-slide PowerPoint he used, click here.
END OF YEAR HERALDS RECORD NUMBERS OF SMOKE-FREE APARTMENTS IN MICHIGAN AND THE NATION
The following is from a Dec. 17, 2008 press release from SFELP: "As 2008 comes to a close, we are delighted that hundreds of thousands of apartments all across Michigan are now totally smoke-free" according to Jim Bergman, Co-Director of The Center for Social Gerontology, Inc. in Ann Arbor, Michigan, which operates the Smoke-Free Environments Law Project (SFELP). "In 2004 when the MI Smoke-Free Apartment Initiative began, it was almost impossible to find apartments that had smoke-free or no-smoking policies. In four short years, smoke-free apartments now abound and are the clear trend." "Smoke-free multi-unit housing is fast-becoming the 'hot' new amenity in Michigan rental housing. Hundreds of thousands of market-rate rental housing units are now covered by no-smoking policies. Well over 15,000 units of 'affordable' housing are also smoke-free. And, 28 public housing commissions in Michigan have smoke-free policies for some or all their buildings, covering over 3,500 units," said Bergman. ... While Michigan is one of the pace-setters in the nation in the realm of smoke-free multi-unit housing, this is a national trend, as well. Both the National Apartment Association and the National Multi-Housing Council have highlighted smoke-free housing as a growing movement and have told their members that smoke-free policies are good for business as well as health. ... "As 2008 ends, there are now at least 102 local public housing authorities in the United States with smoke-free policies for some or all their apartment buildings," said Bergman. "Of the 102 local housing authorities that adopted smoke-free policies, about 85 were adopted since the beginning of January, 2005; an average of about 1.8 per month. That constitutes an increase in the number of housing authorities with smoke-free policies of 600% in 4 years." ... Resident surveys by Michigan apartment owners reflect what surveys in Minnesota, California, Maine and elsewhere have found: a sizeable majority of apartment residents greatly prefer smoke-free apartment buildings. At least 75% to 80% of residents in most apartments surveyed say they want smoke-free housing, and over half say they have moved or would move if secondhand tobacco smoke seeped into their unit from adjoining units. ... Bergman concluded by saying: "No one could have predicted the enormous growth in smoke-free multi-unit buildings that we've witnessed in 2007 and 2008. The trend is clear, smoke-free multi-unit housing is fast becoming the norm in Michigan and other parts of the nation. Whether its market-rate, affordable or public housing, smoke-free is the hot new amenity that owners and residents want." To access the full press release, in pdf format, click here.
UP IN SMOKE: THE TWO SIDES OF SMOKE-FREE HOUSING
The National Association of Housing & Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) held their annual conference in San Antonio on October 26-28, 2008. Former NAHRO President Jim Inglis of the Livonia (Michigan) Housing Commission, and Elaine Wiseman of the Kearney (Nebraska) Housing Authority, and Jim Bergman of the Smoke-Free Environments Law Project spoke at a session on October 28th titled "Up in Smoke: The Two Sides of Smoke-Free Housing". The session highlighted the reasons why almost 100 housing authorities around the nation have now adopted smoke-free policies for all areas of some or all of their apartment buildings. To access a copy of Jim Bergman's 56-slide PowerPoint NAHRO presentation, click here. If you simply want to view the presentation in pdf format, with 6 slides per page, you can access the pdf directly by clicking here.
SMOKE-FREE AFFORDABLE MULTI-UNIT HOUSING IS COMING NOW!
On April 23, 2008 in Detroit, a national conference was held titled Promising Practices From the Field: Tobacco Control Strategies for Priority Populations. The conference was hosted by the Health Education Council, the National Network on Tobacco Prevention & Poverty (NNTPP), and the National African American Tobacco Education Network (NAATEN). Jim Bergman, SFELP Director, presented a session on smoke-free policies in affordable housing, i.e., housing for low and moderate income persons. The session was titled Smoke-Free Affordable Multi-Unit Housing Is Coming - Now! and included a 66-slide PowerPoint presentation. The presentation included slides with national, socio-economic demographic information about the millions of people living in renter-occupied dwellings. The slides also demonstrated that the market for smoke-free housing is substantial among all socio-economic groups. The presentation showed how the inertia in the multi-unit housing market has now begun to change dramatically, and smoke-free policies are now clearly a hot new amenity that many apartment companies and housing authorities are adopting, including in public and private affordable housing. The major reasons for adopting smoke-free policies are also discussed. Included in the presentation are slides which have the company logo and photos of buildings of large and small apartment companies in Michigan which have adopted smoke-free policies for some or all their buildings, including many which are affordable housing. These slides demonstrate graphically that smoke-free multi-unit housing truly has come of age and that it's happening among large and small apartment owners and housing authorities. Included is a slide of Parkside Commons, a new market-rate apartment building just outside Boston, Massachusetts, and a slide from the Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, Housing Commission, both of which prominently list smoke-free as an amenity, demonstrating that they believe smoke-free policies are a significant marketing advantage. You can access the 66-slide PowerPoint presentation directly by clicking here. If you simply want to view the presentation in pdf format, with 6 slides per page, you can access the pdf directly by clicking here.
SMOKE-FREE MULTI-UNIT HOUSING HAS COME OF AGE
On April 15 & 16, 2008, SFELP Director Jim Bergman was fortunate to be able to do hour-long presentations for the membership of the Property Management Association of Western Michigan (PMAWM), of which SFELP is a member. The presentation was titled Smoke-Free Multi-Unit Housing Has Come of Age and included a 59-slide PowerPoint presentation. The presentation was intended to provide information to multi-unit housing owners/managers demonstrating that it's legal to adopt smoke-free policies and that it makes economic sense, as well as discussing how to transition to smoke-free buildings and why enforcement is not a problem. Included are slides with demographic information showing that the market for smoke-free housing is substantial among all socio-economic groups. The presentation also showed how the inertia in the multi-unit housing market has now begun to change dramatically, and smoke-free policies are now clearly a hot new amenity that many apartment companies are adopting. Included in the beginning of the presentation are 20 slides which each have the company logo and photos of buildings of large and small apartment companies in Michigan which have adopted smoke-free policies for some or all their buildings. These slides demonstrated graphically that smoke-free multi-unit housing truly has come of age and that it's happening among large and small apartment owners and that it's happening all over the state. The slides also show that public housing commissions/authorities are adopting smoke-free policies, as are other affordable housing companies. The 4th to the last slide is also a great one because it's a slide from the web site for Parkside Commons, a new apartment building just outside Boston, Massachusetts, and this web page is touting the apartment building being a 100% smoke-free environment, showing that they see this as a major amenity and selling point for the residents they want to attract -- young, healthy and wealthy. You can access the 59-slide PowerPoint presentation directly by clicking here. If you simply want to view the presentation in pdf format, with 6 slides per page, you can access the pdf directly by clicking here.
APARTMENT COMPANIES IN MICHIGAN WITH SMOKE-FREE POLICIES
We have compiled a list of some, but certainly not all, of the apartment companies in Michigan that have adopted smoke-free policies for some or all of their multi-unit residential properties. The companies range in size from very large multi-state companies with hundreds of buildings and thousands of units to smaller companies with 10 or less properties; most are for-profit, but some are large non-profit entities. The apartment properties include market-rate and affordable housing; family housing and elderly housing. In addition, at the end of the listing is another list of public housing commissions in Michigan that have adopted smoke-free policies for some or all of their buildings. Some companies have made all their properties smoke-free, while others are just beginning to do so for some of their buildings. The trend, however, is clear; all are moving to smoke-free, and it's just a matter of time until smoke-free multi-unit housing is the norm throughout the multi-unit residential housing industry. The smoke-free trend is state-wide and industry-wide, including market-rate, affordable and public housing in all regions of Michigan. To access this list, in pdf format, click here. To locate more smoke-free apartments in Michigan go to the MISmokeFreeApartment.org online listing site by clicking here.
NATIONAL APARTMENT ASSOCIATION MANAGEMENT UPDATE ON NO-SMOKING POLICIES IN APARTMENTS
This AIMS Property Management Update issued jointly by the National Apartment Association and the National Multi-Housing Council on February 1, 2008 provides a 4-page analysis that explains that no-smoking policies are both legal and good for business. The memorandum also provides "Best Practices for Implementing a Smoke-Free Policy". To access a copy of the memorandum, in pdf format, click here.
NATIONAL MULTI-HOUSING COUNCIL MEMORANDUM ON NO-SMOKING POLICIES IN APARTMENTS
A February 1, 2008 memorandum from the National Multi-Housing Council to its member multi-unit housing companies makes clear that it is legal to adopt a smoke-free policy for apartment buildings. The memo also explains why it makes business sense to adopt such policies. It goes on to provide suggestions on how to go about adopting and implementing smoke-free policies. To access a copy of the memorandum, in pdf format, click here.
UNITS MAGAZINE ARTICLES ON SMOKE-FREE MULTI-UNIT HOUSING
The December, 2007 issue of UNITS magazine , published by the National Apartment Association, has as its cover feature a series of articles on smoke-free multi-unit housing. The lead article, titled Smoke Signals is by SFELP Consulting Attorney Susan Schoenmarklin and Jacque Petterson, of Smoke-Free Housing Consultants of Texas. Additional articles were written by Kylie Meiner of Portland, Oregon's smoke-free multi-unit housing program, and Jim Wiard of Guardian Management of Portland Oregon. Plus, there are a couple of other articles. Dave Watkins, Chairman of the Board of the National Apartment Association, is quoted in the Chairman's Observations column as saying "Smoke-free apartment communities not only promote a healthy resident population, but also a healthy bottom line for owners and investors." The editors introduce the feature section titled "Clearing the Air: Industry Discusses Trend Toward Smoke-Free Housing" by stating: "In this new era, many owners and managers are choosing not to ignore the problems that can result from a smoke-friendly community. They are finding that keeping the smoke out is the best way to retain both residents and profits." To access the Chairman's Observation column and the first 2 pages of the feature section, in pdf format, click here. To access the cover page and the full series of articles, in pdf format, click here.
SMOKE-FREE MULTI-UNIT HOUSING CAME OF AGE IN 2007
This December 21, 2007 press release summarizes the dramatic advances made in 2007 in expanding smoke-free multi-unit housing. "2007 will be known as the year that smoke-free multi unit housing came of age in Michigan and North America," according to Jim Bergman, Co-Director of The Center for Social Gerontology, Inc. in Ann Arbor, Michigan, which operates the Smoke-Free Environments Law Project. "In the past few years, there had been a slow and steady increase in the number of apartment buildings that were totally smoke-free," he said, "but in 2007 this became a virtual tidal wave with thousands upon thousands of smoke-free apartment units becoming available. Owners and operators of market-rate, affordable and public housing apartment buildings all began adopting smoke-free policies in dramatically increasing numbers in 2007." According to Bergman, "prior to 2005, smoke-free apartments in Michigan were almost impossible to find. Today, there are tens of thousands of smoke-free apartment units in communities all across the state." ... "In 2007, large and small apartment owners in Michigan and across North American saw the value of offering smoke-free buildings as an amenity that appealed to health-conscious consumers and boosted owners' bottom line," said Bergman. ... "Just as there has been a dramatic increase in smoke-free privately-owned multi-unit housing, the number of local public housing authorities in the United States with smoke-free policies has exploded. Prior to 2005, about 12 local public housing authorities in the U.S. had adopted smoke-free policies for one or more of their apartment buildings. As of December, 2007, at least 65 local housing authorities had adopted smoke-free policies for some or all of their apartment buildings," stated Bergman, "with about 45 being adopted in the last 48 months." States with such policies include Michigan (24), Maine (13), Minnesota (10), Nebraska (3), Washington (4), California (3 - 4), Wisconsin, Oregon, Florida, Idaho, Montana, Indiana and New Jersey. To access the full press release, in pdf format, click here.
SMOKE-FREE MULTI-UNIT DWELLINGS ARE COMING TO ONTARIO - HOW WE'RE GOING TO MAKE IT HAPPEN
On November 28, 2007, the Ontario Tobacco-Free Network and the Council for a Tobacco-Free Toronto sponsored an all-day session titled Second Hand Smoke In Multi-Unit Dwellings: A Day of Education, Discussion and Planning in Toronto. The session included a presentation by SFELP Director Jim Bergman which provided demographic data on multi-unit dwellings in Toronto and Ontario, the percentages of smoke-free households in various provinces, information on what apartment owners can do about adopting smoke-free policies, and reasons for adopting such policies. To access the 36-slide PowerPoint presentation, click here. Scroll down to also see the presentations under the section titled "Smoke-Free Multi-Unit Dwellings Sessions at Canadian National Conference on Tobacco or Health: October, 2007 in Edmonton".
SMOKE-FREE MULTI-UNIT HOUSING ANCILLARY MEETING; OCTOBER, 2007 IN MINNEAPOLIS
On October 23, 2007, prior to the opening of the National Conference on Tobacco or Health in Minneapolis, the Minnesota Department of Health, the Live Smoke-Free housing program of Minnesota, and the Smoke-Free Environments Law Project of Michigan hosted the Smoke-Free Multi-Unit Housing Task Force Ancillary Meeting. This all-day meeting had a number of sessions on topics related to initiatives in various U.S. states and Canadian provinces to promote making smoke-free multi-unit housing the norm. Many, but not all, of the sessions included PowerPoint presentations. These PowerPoint presentations are now available on the SFELP web site. In addition, a smoke-free multi-unit housing presentation was given as a part of a Subplenary session at the National Conference on Tobacco or Health on Emerging Opportunities to Reduce Exposure to Secondhand Smoke on October 25th; this presentation was given by SFELP Director Jim Bergman and is titled Making Smoke-Free Multi-Unit Dwellings the Norm in the U.S. To access this PowerPoint presentation, click here. To access all the presentations from the Ancillary Meeting, click here.
SMOKE-FREE MULTI-UNIT DWELLINGS SESSIONS AT CANADIAN NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON TOBACCO OR HEALTH: OCTOBER, 2007 IN EDMONTON
On October 1-3, 2007 in Edmonton, Alberta, the 5th National Conference on Tobacco or Health was held. For the first time, there were a number of sessions on smoke-free multi-unit housing topics. The sessions related to initiatives in the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia to promote smoke-free multi-unit housing, as well as a session on the Michigan smoke-free apartments initiative, which might be considered, for use in Canadian provinces. A number of the sessions included PowerPoint presentations, which are now available online in pdf format. To access all these presentations, click here and scroll down.
MAKING SMOKE-FREE MULTI-UNIT HOUSING THE NORM IN MICHIGAN - RAPIDLY!!!
On July 19, 2007, at the Tobacco-Free Michigan quarterly meeting, SFELP Director Jim Bergman gave a presentation of the above title. The presentation described the MI Smoke-Free Apartment Initiative and its successes in 3 years of operation. Included in the presentation was a detailed discussion of 5 reasons "Why Landlords Don't Adopt Smoke-Free Policies?" and the ways in which the MI Smoke-Free Apartment Initiative successfully addressed these barriers. The result of these successes is that, in 3 years well over 10,000 units of smoke-free market-rate housing has been created, well over 6,000 units of smoke-free "affordable" housing has been created, 21 public housing commissions have adopted smoke-free policies, most newspapers now allow classified ads which say "smoke-free" or "no smoking", and some online apartment listings now have "no smoking" as an amenity item. Demographic data is also provided which demonstrates why smoke- free housing makes sense. While this presentation describes the Michigan initiative, its content is equally applicable to other states, and, if you substitute data from your own state, it's possible the presentation could be adapted for your use in your state. To access the 40-slide PowerPoint presentation, click here. This PowerPoint was done on a Mac computer and three slides are in QuickTime, which many PC computers can't read. Therefore, so that you can, at least, view these slides, we have converted the entire PowerPoint into a pdf file which can be accessed by clicking here.
SMOKE-FREE MULTI-UNIT HOUSING WORKSHOP: MINNESOTA
On April 30, 2007, the Tobacco Prevention & Control Office of the Minnesota Department of Health and the Association for Nonsmokers-Minnesota sponsored a Smoke-Free Multi-Unit Housing Workshop in St. Paul. SFELP Director Jim Bergman was a featured presenter at the workshop. His presentation included a wide range of topics including the following: data on the numbers and percentages of smokers in Minnesota and of smoke-free homes, as well as renter- occupied housing units, as facets of marketing smoke-free apartment policies; the 5 reasons why landlords are hesitant about adopting smoke-free policies, and how to address these issues; the health and fire safety issues associated with smoking in apartments; the legal rights of landlords to adopt smoke-free policies; legal liability issues facing landlords who don't have smoke-free policies; costs of rehabilitating apartments lived in by smokers; enforcement issues related to smoke-free policies; voluntary approaches to gaining adoption of smoke-free apartment policies; legislative approaches being tried to gain adoption of smoke-free policies; and the MISmokeFreeApartment Initiative as an example of a successful voluntary approach. To access and download the 75-slide PowerPoint presentation Mr. Bergman used, click here. This PowerPoint was done on a Mac computer and some slides are in QuickTime which many PC computers can't read. Therefore, so that you can, at least, view these slides, we have converted the entire PowerPoint into a pdf file which can be accessed by clicking here.
SMOKE-FREE MULTI-UNIT HOUSING: THE NEW FRONTIER FOR SMOKE-FREE AIR INITIATIVES
On March 5, 2007, at the "States of Change Regional Tobacco Control Conference" in Columbus, Ohio, SFELP Director Jim Bergman presented a session of the above title. The address included a 66-slide PowerPoint presentation which covered the following topics: The percentages of homes that are renter-occupied; Why secondhand smoke in apartments is an important issue for smoke-free air advocates; Why landlords should be concerned about smoking in their buildings; Legal issues related to smoke-free apartment policies; The MISmokeFreeApartment Initiative as an example of a voluntary approach to gain adoption of smoke-free multi-unit housing policies; Examples of achievements of the MISmokeFreeApartment Initiative in Michigan; Legislative approaches now being used or considered to get smoke-free apartment policies adopted on a local or statewide basis; and Resources available to assist you. To access and download the PowerPoint presentation, click here. This PowerPoint was done on a Mac computer and some slides are in QuickTime which many PC computers can't read. Therefore, so that you can, at least, view these slides, we have converted the entire PowerPoint into a pdf file which can be accessed by clicking here.
SMOKE-FREE APARTMENTS: THE NEW FRONTIER IS HERE!
On September 16, 2005, SFELP Director Jim Bergman gave a keynote presentation of the above title at the New York State Tobacco Use Prevention & Control Annual Conference. The address included a 70-slide PowerPoint presentation which covered the following issues: Why secondhand smoke in apartments is an issue; Legal issues & smoke-free apartment policies; Approaches now being used to get smoke-free apt policies adopted: voluntary & legislative; The MISmokeFreeApartment initiative as an example of a voluntary approach; Legislative approaches to consider locally and statewide; and Resources available to assist you. To access and download the PowerPoint presentation, click here.
SMOKE-FREE HOUSING COMMISSION APARTMENTS: THE TIME IS NOW
On September 8, 2005, SFELP Director Jim Bergman and Cadillac (MI) Housing Commission Executive Director Dan Peterson gave a presentation of the above title at the National Association of Housing & Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) - Michigan Chapter fall conference. The presentation included a 40-slide PowerPoint. The presentation was particularly focused on how public housing officials can go about adopting smoke-free apartment policies in their buildings. Dan Peterson's housing commission did that in July, 2005, making it the first housing commission in Michigan to do so, and one of only about 10 in the nation. Included in the PowerPoint presentation were the following topics: a description of the MISmokeFreeApartment initiative; why secondhand smoke is an issue in public housing; legal issues and smoke-free apartment policies; a listing of housing commissions/authorities which have adopted smoke-free policies; specific steps housing commissions/authorities can take in moving to adopt smoke-free policies; and resources available to assist housing officials. [This presentation will be given again on October 14, 2005 at the Michigan Housing Directors Association annual conference.] To access the PowerPoint, click here.
MICHIGAN SMOKE-FREE APARTMENTS INITIATIVE
In July, 2004, SFELP unveiled a multi-faceted smoke-free apartments initiative in Michigan whose purpose is to encourage and assist apartment owners to adopt smoke-free apartment policies in their buildings, as well as to inform tenants of their rights to live in smoke-free apartments and assist them in working with their landlords to obtain smoke-free apartments. The smoke-free apartment initiative utilizes a new web site called mismokefreeapartment.org to provide a wealth of information for both tenants and landlords. In addition, the initiative includes two radio ads and 4 billboards to publicize the web site and the reasons for adopting smoke-free apartment policies, as well as the legal right to do so. The initiative also includes 4 postcards which will be mailed to landlords informing them of this initiative. SFELP will also be conducting surveys in various parts of Michigan to determine the current availability of smoke-free apartments and will develop an online listing of smoke-free apartments throughout the state. SFELP will be available to provide information and assistance to landlords and tenants desiring smoke-free apartment buildings. To access the mismokefreeapartment.org web site, click here. To access a 56-slide PowerPoint presentation which describes this initiative, including showing the billboards and postcards, click here. [NOTE: When you get to the PowerPoint page, if you click on individual slides or on "Click to Start Here," you can view the slides, but a few of the slides -- particularly the billboards and postcards -- may not show all of the images. However, if you click on "Download presentation source," hopefully, you will be able to view all the images on all the slides. Some computers seem not to be able to recognize the postcard or billboard images on this PowerPoint. To view the postcard images, see below, where the images can be viewed in pdf format.]
Postcard Mailers Sent To Landlords for Smoke-Free Apartments Initiative
As a part of the smoke-free apartments initiative described above, in February, March and April, 2005, a series of 4 colorful, 8 1/2" x 5 1/2" postcards were mailed to landlords in 20 counties in Michigan. The postcards provided reasons why landlords should consider adopting smoke-free policies in their apartments and informed them that it was legal to do so. The postcards directed them to the MISmokeFreeApartment.org web site for additional information. The 4 postcards may be accessed in pdf format. For postcard 1, click here for the front, and click here for the back. For postcard 2, click here for the front, and click here for the back. For postcard 3, click here for the front, and click here for the back. For postcard 4, click here for the front, and click here for the back.
PRESENTATION FOR LANDLORDS OR OTHERS TO USE TO MAKE THE TRANSITION TO A SMOKE-FREE APARTMENT POLICY
As a part of the mismokefreeapartment initiative described above, SFELP developed a PowerPoint presentation for use by landlords (or others). We want to help landlords make the transition to smoke-free living as smooth as possible. This presentation can be used to help landlords announce their smoke-free intentions to tenants and employees and to inform them of the very real risks secondhand smoke poses to their health. Once they see the facts, they can see going smoke-free is a win-win change for the better. To access the 29-slide presentation, you can go to the mismokefreeapartment.org web page for the PowerPoint by clicking here or you can go directly to the PowerPoint by clicking here.
ANALYSES, FACT SHEETS AND KEY DOCUMENTS
FACT SHEETS FOR APARTMENT OWNERS & MANAGERS TO DEMONSTRATE WHY SMOKE-FREE HOUSING MAKES SENSE IN MARKET-RATE AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING
We have prepared two Fact Sheets for distribution to apartment owners and managers to provide information, data, and testimonials from apartment owners demonstrating that there is a market for smoke-free housing and, also, that many affordable housing developments are now smoke-free. Both of these Fact Sheets address the key concerns that apartment owners and managers have about adopting smoke-free policies for their buildings. These two Fact Sheets can be used at property management association trade shows or at meetings or can be used in mailings. One Fact Sheet is titled "Is there a Market for Smokefree Housing?" and is for any apartment owner/manager; it can be accessed, in pdf format, by clicking here. The other Fact Sheet is titled "Many Affordable Housing Providers in Michigan Offer Non-Smoking Policies" and is targeted to public housing authorities and to developers and managers of other subsidized affordable housing; it can be accessed, in pdf format, by clicking here.
FACT SHEET: A SMOKE-FREE APARTMENT POLICY IS LEGAL AND PROTECTS HEALTH WHILE SAVING MONEY
A 2-page Fact Sheet of the above title has been prepared by SFELP to provide succinct information about the rights of landlords to adopt smoke-free policies for their apartment buildings. The Fact Sheet also provides basic information about health reasons for adopting smoke-free apartment policies. It also points out why it makes economic sense for landlords to vote to adopt such policies, and it concludes by pointing out that enforcement is generally not an issue. To access the Fact Sheet, in pdf format, click here. For a more detailed discussion of these issues, see the materials below. For additional information, go to our MISmokeFreeApartment site by clicking here.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ) ABOUT SMOKE-FREE APARTMENT POLICIES
A 2-page Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) of the above title has been prepared by SFELP to provide information about the rights of landlords to adopt smoke-free policies for their apartment buildings. The FAQ also provides brief information about health reasons for adopting smoke-free apartment policies. It also points out economic reasons for landlords to adopt such policies, and points out that enforcement is generally not an issue. It concludes by stating that the number of smoke-free apartments is growing almost daily in Michigan. To access the FAQ, in pdf format, click here. For a more detailed discussion of these issues, see the materials below. For additional information, go to our MISmokeFreeApartment site by clicking here.
INFILTRATION OF SECONDHAND SMOKE INTO CONDOMINIUMS, APARTMENTS AND OTHER MULTI-UNIT DWELLINGS
In April, 2004, the Tobacco Control Legal Consortium, of which the Smoke-Free Environments Law Project (SFELP) is a founding member, published a "law synopsis" of the above title which discusses legal remedies available to tenants and landlords concerned about secondhand smoke infiltration. The article was written by SFELP Consulting Attorney Susan Schoenmarklin and can be accessed, in pdf format, by clicking here.
SECONDHAND SMOKE IN APARTMENTS & CONDOMINIUMS
SFELP has developed a concise analysis of the options available to the resident of an apartment or condominium who is exposed to secondhand smoke against his/her will. This includes a review of the legal options available and recent legal cases involving secondhand smoke entering such residences. This information is also valuable for the owners of such properties in that it presents many of the potential liability issues faced by an owner who allows smoking in his/her building. For information, click here.
POWERPOINT: SECONDHAND SMOKE LITIGATION IN MULTI-UNIT HOUSING
On October 27, 2006, SFELP Consulting Attorney Susan Schoenmarklin gave a presentation of the above title at the Waiting to Exhale? The Future of Tobacco Litigation conference in Columbus, Ohio. This presentation reviews the current status of litigation involving victims of secondhand tobacco smoke intrusions in their apartment or condominium units. It also provides background information on the health risks of secondhand smoke and their relevance to such litigation. To access the 43-slide PowerPoint presentation, click here.
THE FEDERAL FAIR HOUSING ACT AND THE PROTECTION OF PERSONS WHO ARE DISABLED BY SECONDHAND SMOKE
The federal Fair Housing Act (FHA) prohibits housing discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, family status, national origin, or disability. The FHA, among other things, prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities, including those with severe breathing problems which are exacerbated by secondhand smoke. The FHA prohibits such discrimination by owners and operators of most housing, including most apartments and Section 8 and other HUD-assisted housing. The FHA is also available to residents in condominiums with more than four (4) units. It is clear from the language of the FHA, its interpretation by HUD General Counsel, and court decisions, that the FHA is available to people with breathing disabilities to seek reasonable accommodations from owners and operators of most housing in the United States in order to address the serious health hazards posed by secondhand smoke which infiltrates their housing. A detailed analysis of this issue by the Office of the General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was prepared in 1992 and is still in effect; a copy may be accessed from the HUD site by clicking here. For a link to HUD's online complaint form which can be filed directly, click here. For a link to download the HUD complaint form, in pdf format, so that it can be sent to a HUD office, click here. To access an analysis by SFELP of the FHA and how it can be used to protect persons who have breathing disabilities which are caused or exacerbated by secondhand smoke in their housing situations, click here.
ANALYSIS OF THE AUTHORITY OF HOUSING AUTHORITIES AND SECTION 8 MULTIUNIT HOUSING OWNERS TO ADOPT SMOKE-FREE POLICIES IN THEIR RESIDENTIAL UNITS
In response to inquiries the Smoke-Free Environments Law Project (SFELP) has received from public housing managers, owners of section 8 housing and tenants across the country about the legality of adopting smoke-free policies in publicly-assisted residential rental units, this analysis has been prepared by SFELP Consulting Attorney Susan Schoenmarklin. "Section 8" housing is a federal program that provides rent subsidies for low-income and elderly tenants. The tenants live in privately-owned housing, rather than in public housing. Public housing developments are managed by local housing authorities, who are under the jurisdiction of regional offices of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Based on extensive research of federal and state law and cases nationwide, we conclude unequivocally that a ban on smoking for new tenants who move into public or section 8 housing is permissible in all 50 states. There are no federal or state laws that prohibit property owners from offering smoke-free rentals, and no constitutional protections for smokers. As one state court said, "There is no more a fundamental right to smoke cigarettes than there is to shoot up or snort heroin or run a red light." Additionally, we have received inquiries about the legality of applying a smoke-free policy to all tenants of public or section 8 housing at the time of annual review or renewal of the lease or during the term of the lease, with adequate notice. This smoke-free policy would apply not only to incoming tenants, but also to those currently residing in the complex. After careful review of HUD regulations and consultation with HUD officials, SFELP has determined that it is permissible to change to smoke free at the time of lease renewal or during the term of the lease, if legally adequate notice is provided. Either of these approaches is easier to administer and provides greater health protections for tenants than delaying change until tenants move or die. To access this 9-page analysis, click here.
HUD LEGAL COUNSEL OPINION: LANDLORDS ARE FREE TO MAKE APARTMENTS TOTALLY SMOKE-FREE
At the request of the Smoke-Free Environments Law Project, the Chief Counsel of the Housing & Urban Development (HUD) field office in Detroit issued an opinion on July 18, 2003 in which she stated that: "Currently, there is no HUD policy, by statute, regulation, handbook or otherwise that restricts landlords from adopting a prohibition of smoking in common areas or in individual units." The opinion goes on to state that there is nothing in federal law, including the federal Fair Housing Act (see SFELP analysis of the FHA above), or in Michigan law (see Michigan AG Opinion below) which prevents a landlord from making some or all of his/her apartment units smoke-free. The opinion states: "Similar to Michigan law, federal law does not prohibit the separation of smoking and non-smoking tenants in privately owned apartment complexes and in fact, does not prohibit a private owner of an apartment complex from refusing to rent to smokers." The only caveats to this policy which the opinion lists are: 1) if the apartment owner wishes to make the policy a condition of the lease, HUD approval is necessary to the extent that the owner is bound to utilize HUD's model lease; and 2) "if owners seek to make their complexes smoke-free they must take caution to grandfather in those smoking residents currently residing at the complex." To access this opinion, click here for page 1 and click here for page 2.
HUD FIELD OFFICE LETTER MAKES CLEAR THAT LOCAL HOUSING AUTHORITIES AND HUD-SUBSIDIZED APARTMENT OWNERS MAY ADOPT SMOKE-FREE POLICIES, INCLUDING WITHOUT HUD APPROVAL
A January 31, 2007 letter from the Field Office Director of the HUD office in Detroit provides a very positive affirmation of the right of local housing authorities and private owners of HUD-subsidized housing to adopt smoke-free policies in their buildings. The following key points about the letter should be noted: 1) The initial letter requesting information about HUD's policy on smoking in HUD-assisted buildings was sent to HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson in Washington, D.C. who forwarded it to the Detroit HUD office for a response because the sender of the letter lives in a Michigan building operated by a local Housing Commission, which is a local housing authority. Thus, the response sent by the Detroit HUD Director is certainly known to the HUD headquarters office and was undoubtedly cleared first before being sent. 2) The HUD letter states that "HUD has no policies or requirements that specifically restrict smoking in HUD-assisted housing. These developments are not owned by the federal government, but are owned by private entities, nonprofit agencies, or local governmental units." Thus, the letter is making clear that HUD places no restrictions on what smoking policies are adopted by any type of HUD-assisted housing operators, whether housing authorities or private owners/operators of HUD-subsidized housing. 3) The HUD letter goes on to state that "Furthermore, in Michigan, several housing authorities and private landlords and management agencies have voluntarily adopted smoke-free policies for their HUD-assisted developments. ... We appreciate the efforts and concern about improving the quality of life in HUD-assisted housing, but must direct you to local strategies for achieving a smoke-free policy in your particular apartment complex." Thus, the Detroit HUD Director is saying that she knows that local HUD-assisted housing operators of all types in Michigan have adopted smoke-free policies, and that these efforts are to be achieved in other HUD-assisted housing by local efforts of housing authorities and private apartment owners and operators. In other words, what's already been done is OK with HUD and is how others can also adopt such policies. Thus, this letter is a ringing affirmation of the right of local HUD-assisted housing operators to adopt smoke-free policies, and a clear statement that HUD has no policies of its own which prevent this from being done. The letter is in pdf format and should be legible, but it is a bit unclear because we scanned it from a faxed copy. You can access the letter by clicking here.
RELATED HUD LETTERS CONCERNING LEGALITY OF ADOPTING SMOKE-FREE POLICIES, GRANDFATHERING OF CURRENT TENANTS WHO ARE SMOKERS, ETC.
SFELP has assembled here four additional HUD letters which address the questions of whether HUD-assisted housing can have smoke-free policies, as well as how soon such policies can be put in place for tenants. Also addressed is the question of whether such policies can be made as lease amendments or as house rules. These letters are useful in addition to the July 18, 2003 HUD letter sent to SFELP and described above, which can also be accessed by clicking here. See also the SFELP "Analysis of the Authority of Housing Authorities and Section 8 Multiunit Housing Owners to Adopt Smoke-free Policies in their Residential Units" three paragraphs above. A June 27, 1996 HUD letter concerning the request of the Kearney, Nebraska Housing Authority to make certain of its apartment buildings non-smoking states, among other things: "... there are no statutory prohibitions to a PHA [Public Housing Authority] adopting such a policy, nor are there any regulatory ones. ... Because of this grant of authority, PHA's have the authority to designate particular types of units as smoking or non-smoking, determine the suitability of the type of unit for the applicant, assign applicants based on the smoking preference, and to restrict tenants' behavior within the particular type of unit through the terms of the lease." To access this 5-page letter, click here. A July 9, 1996 letter from the HUD office in Jacksonville, Florida to the Housing Authority of the City of Fort Pierce, Florida, in response to their request to adopt a no smoking policy for future residents, states: "...it appears there are no statutory or regulatory prohibitions to a PHA restricting or prohibiting smoking in its public housing units. ... It appears that HACFP has complied with regulations at 24 CFR 966 in establishing the 'No Smoking Addenda,' including the provisions ... which require at least a 30-day notice to tenants and resident organizations setting forth proposed changes in the lease, and providing an opportunity to present written comments." To access this 2-page letter, click here. A July 6, 2004 letter from the HUD Grand Rapids, Michigan office to an owner of housing which included Section 8 HUD-assisted units states: "The Model Lease should not be changed unless it is necessary to comply with state law or to address an issue that is customary in the real estate industry. ... Therefore, the owners of privately owned developments may have a reasonable non-smoking policy as part of the house rules, but it cannot be made a part of the PRAC lease." To access this letter, click here. An October 13, 2004 letter from the Seattle HUD office to the Multnomah County [Oregon] Health Department states: "You asked if there is any policy or legal basis that would require grandfathering-in smoking residents and if it is permissible to require existing tenants to stop smoking in their units as long as they are given sufficient notice and the change occurs at the time of lease renewal. There is no written HUD policy requiring the grandfathering of any tenant." To access this 2-page letter, click here. These letters have been scanned into pdf documents, but some were copies which were already copies or faxes; therefore, some of the letters may be somewhat hard to read.
LEGAL RESEARCH REGARDING SMOKE-FREE BUILDINGS, INCLUDING COURT DECISIONS & HUD/FAIR HOUSING ACT DECISIONS PERMITTING SMOKE-FREE APARTMENT BUILDINGS
This is a link to an excellent Legal Research report containing a wealth of cases and information on smoke-free buildings, including apartments, and the law. Note that Appendix 2 to the report contains a bountiful number of cases, including ones utilizing the Fair Housing Act (see paragraph above on the FHA) to obtain smoke-free buildings, and others using common law theories to do the same (these cases support the SFELP analysis above and the legal strategies analysis below by Robert Kline). The page also contains two surveys: Secondhand Smoke in Apartment Buildings -- Owners Survey and Renters Survey. These reports were produced by the Center for Energy and Environment, based in Minneapolis. To link to this page, where you will be able to access the reports, in pdf format, click here.
MICHIGAN ATTORNEY GENERAL'S LEGAL OPINION: PRIVATELY-OWNED APARTMENT COMPLEXES CAN BE SMOKE-FREE
This is a link to a 1992 Legal Opinion of the Michigan Attorney General which examined the issue of whether privately-owned apartment complexes could be either entirely smoke-free or have certain buildings in a complex be smoke-free. The Attorney General concluded as follows: "It is my opinion, therefore, that neither state nor federal law prohibits a privately-owned apartment complex from renting only to non-smokers or, in the alternative, restricting smokers to certain buildings within an apartment complex." There has been nothing enacted in Michigan or federal law since this opinion was written which would overrule this opinion. To access the opinion, click here.
LEGAL STRATEGIES FOR ETS INCURSIONS INTO MULTI-UNIT RESIDENCES
This article by Robert Kline of the Tobacco Control Resource Center in Boston describes the major legal theories that non-smoking residents of multiple unit residential dwellings may use to deal with incursions of secondhand smoke into their units. It suggests that use of various state regulations can be effective in protecting non-smokers from secondhand smoke incursions, or, in the alternative, that certain common law remedies may be available. To access this article, click here.
LINKS TO RELATED SITES & INFORMATION
PORTLAND-VANCOUVER METRO AREA SMOKEFREE HOUSING PROJECT
The Portland-Vancouver Metro Area Smokefree Housing Project was created to reduce renters' exposure to secondhand smoke by increasing the number of properties that have smokefree policies. To reach this goal, the project works to educate landlords and the organizations that provide landlord training in why a no-smoking policy is good for business and good for health. The project's website contains information for Landlords, Tenants, Condominium/Home Owner Associations, and those involved in buying and selling real estate. To access the site, click here.
SmokeFreeForME.org WEB SITE FOCUSES ON SMOKE-FREE HOUSING
The Maine Coalition for Smoking or Health has created a new web site devoted to smoke-free housing. The site borrows from SFELP's MISmokeFreeApartment.org web site, with our permission and assistance. We think the new Maine site is excellent and encourage you to visit it. To access the site, click here.
UTAH HEALTH DEPARTMENT SMOKE-FREE APARTMENT & CONDOMINIUM SITE
The Utah Health Department has an excellent site devoted to smoke-free apartments and condominiums. The site includes information for landlords and tenants, as well as condominium owners who wish to adopt smoke-free policies, including the Utah Smoke-Free Apartment and Condominium Guide for Owners & Managers. It also includes the 1997 Utah law dealing with secondhand smoke in apartments and condominiums; possibly the first such law in the nation. To access the site, click here.
UTAH REVISED SECONDHAND SMOKE POLICY IMPLEMENTATION GUIDE
In February, 2007, the revised Utah Secondhand Smoke Policy Implementation Guide became available on the Utah Tobacco Prevention Control Program website. The guide is designed to help smoke-free advocates in the planning and implementation of secondhand smoke policies. It includes sections specific to worksites, multiple dwelling units, homes, healthcare settings, and outdoor venues. The section on Multiple Dwelling units is available, in pdf format, by clicking here. The entire Policy Guide is available, in pdf format, by clicking here.
SMOKEFREE APARTMENT HOUSE REGISTRY
This link to the Smokefree Apartment House Registry is operated by Smokefree Air for Everyone (S.A.F.E.), a California group. While the smokefree apartment listing currently is limited to southern California locations, this may expand over time. Further, the site has brief information on legal issues and model smokefree policies for apartments and condominiums that renters and owners may wish to review. Click here.
LIVE SMOKE FREE: MINNESOTA SMOKE-FREE HOUSING SITE
This link to the Association for Nonsmokers – Minnesota site called Live Smoke-Free provides very helpful information on: model lease language; hints on stopping secondhand smoke seepage into an apartment; and myths about why smoke-free apartments aren't a good business idea. Click here.
SMOKING IN AN APARTMENT BUILDING: WHAT CAN BE DONE?
This link to the Technical Assistance Legal Center in California provides a good overview of what persons living in apartments can do when they are affected by secondhand smoke from neighbors. While this fact sheet focuses on California law, it also has general applicability. Click here.
WHEN NEIGHBORS SMOKE
The Nonsmokers' Rights Association in Canada has a section of their web site titled "When Neighbors Smoke" on which they have a 75-page manual on exposure to secondhand smoke in multi-unit dwellings which was prepared in May, 2006, as well as two 3-page Q&A pieces for landlords and tenants on this issue. To go the site, click here.
DRIFTING SECONDHAND SMOKE
The Clean Air Coalition of British Columbia has a section of their web site devoted to "Drifting Secondhand Smoke" which includes a number of written materials, including the following: Pamphlet; Blowing Smoke; Health Effects Factsheet; Landlords Factsheet; Adopting a No-Smoking Policy; Tenants Factsheet; and a Drifting Smoke Power Point Presentation. To go to the site, click here.
TACOMA-PIERCE AND KITSAP COUNTY (WA) HEALTH DEPARTMENTS' SMOKE-FREE HOUSING SITES
The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department and the Kitsap County Health District in Washington State have sections of their web sites devoted to Providing Fresh Air Housing. The sites contain a number of very useful materials, including the following: Providing Smoke-Free Rental Units: A Guide for Building Owners and Managers; Secondhand Smoke in Apartments and Condos: A Guide for Owners and Managers; The Smoker Next Door ... Handling Unwanted Tobacco Smoke in Apartments and Condos; Model Policy for a Smoke-Free Condo or Apartment; Frequently Asked Questions; Phone Survey of Tenants in Pierce and Kitsap Counties; and, Owners and Managers: It's Your Decision for a Fresh Air Housing Blueprint. There are also links to smoke-free apartment listings. The phone survey is an excellent 28-page report on the findings of a random sample phone survey of 1,106 tenants in Pierce and Kitsap Counties conducted in January, 2003. To access the survey report directly, in pdf format, click here. [Sorry, the report seems not be online at this time; check back later.] To access the Tacoma-Pierce County Smoke-Free Housing Registry Site, click here. To access the Kitsap County Health District Smoke-Free Housing Site, click here.
SUGGESTIONS FOR DEALING WITH SECONDHAND SMOKE IN APARTMENTS
GASP of Colorado provides tips and resources for tenants, landlords, homeowner associations, and public housing entities. Click here to visit the GASP of Colorado website for the group's list of smoke-free housing.
THE SMOKER NEXT DOOR: TIPS FOR TENANTS
This link to the Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights web site provides a short set of steps tenants should consider to protect themselves from secondhand smoke seeping into their residence. To access this information, click here or click here.
SECONDHAND SMOKE: A GUIDE FOR OWNERS & MANAGERS
This link to the Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights web site provides a brief set of guidelines for owners and managers of buildings in which secondhand smoke seepage into other residences is an issue. One of the suggestions for solving the problem is eliminating smoking within all the residences. To access these guidelines, click here or click here.
SOUTH CENTRAL WISCONSIN APARTMENT ASSOCIATION OFFERS SMOKE-FREE APARTMENT LISTING AND MORE TO ENCOURAGE SMOKE-FREE APARTMENTS
A September, 2003 Wisconsin State Journal article describes a new smoke-free apartment effort being led by a Madison-area apartment association. The article states: Renters can get help finding smoke-free apartments through a list compiled by the Apartment Association of South Central Wisconsin. The information can be found on the association's Web site. There renters can find a list of property owners, the city where they're based, phone numbers and the number of smoke-free units at a particular property. The list notes 1,277 units in all. The database, which was expanded this year, is only one such effort the association is making toward promoting the availability of smoke-free units. Because of the safety concerns involved, the group also is working with insurance companies to offer premium discounts to property owners for insuring smoke-free units. "That's a good incentive," said Nancy Jensen, executive director of the association. She said concern about the health of renters is one reason to offer smoke-free units as a choice. "Then there's three more good reasons," she said. They include liability and risk, maintenance and the apparent demand, since a majority of people don't smoke, she said. The risks are obvious in light of statistics supplied by Ed Ruckriegel, fire marshal in the Madison Fire Department. In the last four years, smoking-related materials led to 143 fires. In addition to personal injuries, the fires caused two fatalities and an estimated $1.3 million in property damage. Jensen said although potential renters may not ask for smoke-free units, they will notice when units have that designation. The association created the database by sending out 2,000 questionnaires to landlords; 320 responses were received. Last year, the group sent out 750 surveys and got back 150 responses, listing a total of 731 smoke-free units. The association also has created a lease addendum, which would prohibit smoking and require tenants' signatures. The form is available online for association members and nonmembers. In addition, the association wants to encourage landlords to designate smoke-free units when they advertise vacancies. "You won't see us support a mandatory smoke-free apartment rental law," Jensen said. "Our goal is to give property owners the information to allow them to make a good business and social choice." For the news article, click here. The apartment association web site listing of smoke-free apartments is no longer online; it has been replaced by the Tobacco Free Dane County Coalition smoke-free apartment listing, which can be accessed by clicking here.
SMOKE FREE WORLD GUIDE - HOUSING, DINING, TRAVEL, ETC.
The Smoke Free World site has links to listings for a variety of smokefree facilities around the world, including housing, dining, entertainment and travel. While the site is still new and has its limits, it is a start on filling a real need. Click here.
Smoke-Free Environments Law Project
The Center for Social Gerontology
2307 Shelby Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48103