MODEL SMOKE-FREE POLICY FOR NEW ASSISTED LIVING FACILITIES

This policy is intended to be a model for new Assisted Living Facilities which would like to adopt a smoke-free facility and campus policy prior to accepting residents. This policy provides for a smoke-free Assisted Living Facility both indoors and outdoors. This policy does not contain provisions for grandfathering of existing smoking residents because, presumably, there are no existing residents to grandfather. This model policy can also be adapted for use as state legislation or as a state regulation for Assisted Living Facilities.

Sec. 1000. Title

This policy shall be known as the Smoke-Free Assisted Living Facility Policy.

Sec. 1001. Authority

This policy is hereby adopted by [insert the name of the Assisted Living Facility].

Sec. 1002. Jurisdiction and Administration

This policy shall have effect throughout the buildings and grounds of the [insert name of the Assisted Living Facility]. The [insert name of the Assisted Living Facility] shall have responsibility for administering and enforcing this policy, including all amendments hereafter adopted unless otherwise specifically stated.

Sec. 1003. Findings and Purpose

The [insert name of the Assisted Living Facility] hereby finds that:

The U.S. Surgeon General, National Research Council, and National Academy of Sciences report that environmental tobacco smoke causes lung cancer and poses an increased risk of heart disease in adult nonsmokers. These agencies, as well as the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), have also found that separating smokers and nonsmokers within the same air space may reduce, but does not eliminate, a nonsmoker’s exposure to environmental tobacco smoke. Further, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences have concluded that environmental tobacco smoke is a Group A Carcinogen – a category reserved for known cancer-causing agents in humans.

Of the over 416,000 smoking-related deaths annually in the U.S., over 94% are to persons aged 50 and over, while over 70% are to persons aged 65 and over. All the major causes of death among the elderly (cancer, heart disease, and stroke) are associated with smoking or environmental tobacco smoke. Recent research also indicates that smoking is related to a number of health problems and diseases that are generally associated with aging, including hearing loss, dementia, and Alzheimer’s.

The United States Fire Administration has determined -- based on data from the National Fire Incident Reporting System, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the National Center for Health Statistics and State Fire Marshall's Offices -- that by far the leading cause of residential fires that result in fatalities in older adults is smoking, and that the older adult population represents the highest fire risk group in the United States with a risk of more than twice the national average. The NFPA reports that the risk of fire injury and death increases with age -- persons 75 and over are three times as likely to die in a fire as are younger adults, and persons 85 and over are four times as likely to die as younger adults. Reports from these agencies document that residential fires include fires in Assisted Living Facilities caused by resident and/or employee smoking.

Accordingly, [insert name of the Assisted Living Facility] finds and declares that the purposes of this policy are 1) to protect the public health and welfare by prohibiting smoking in the enclosed areas that make up [insert name of the Assisted Living Facility] and prohibiting smoking on the outdoor grounds of [insert name of the Assisted Living Facility]; and 2) to guarantee the right of nonsmokers to breathe smoke-free air, and to recognize that the need to breathe smoke-free air shall have priority over the desire to smoke.

Sec. 1004. Definitions

A. The following words and phrases, whenever used in this policy, shall be construed as defined in this section:

Sec. 1005. Operation and Maintenance of Smoke-Free Assisted Living Facility

A. [insert name of Assisted Living Facility] shall provide a smoke-free place of employment for all employees and a smoke-free residential setting for all residents of this Assisted Living Facility.

B. Smoking shall be prohibited in all indoor enclosed areas of [insert name of Assisted Living Facility] without exception. This includes, but is not limited to, all common areas, nursing home facility rooms, individual apartments, hallways, stairs, lobby and reception areas, cafeterias, lounges, elevators, restrooms, motor vehicles owned or leased by the [insert name of Assisted Living Facility], and any other indoor enclosed areas.

C. Notwithstanding the above prohibition on smoking in indoor areas, [insert name of Assisted Living Facility] shall also prohibit smoking in all outdoor areas without exception. This includes, but is not limited to, all doorways, sidewalks, parking lots, grounds, and any other outdoor areas that comprise [insert name of Assisted Living Facility].

D. The Smoke-Free Assisted Living Facility Policy of [insert name of Assisted Living Facility] shall be communicated by the employer to all current employees and residents at least three (3) weeks prior to its effective date, and at the time of employment for all other employees, and prior to admission and/or prior to the signing of an admission agreement or contract for any new resident.

E. The employer shall supply a written copy of the Smoke-Free Assisted Living Facility Policy upon request to any existing or prospective employee or resident.

Sec. 1006. Posting of Signs

A. "No Smoking" signs or the international "No Smoking" symbol (consisting of a pictorial representation of a burning cigarette enclosed in a red circle with a red bar across it) shall be clearly, sufficiently and conspicuously posted at every entrance to the Assisted Living Facility by the employer.

B. Employer shall remove all ashtrays and other smoking paraphernalia from any area where smoking is prohibited by this policy.

Sec. 1007. Enforcement

The [insert name of Assisted Living Facility] shall be responsible for enforcing this policy. The Smoke-Free Assisted Living Facility Policy shall also be incorporated by reference into the admissions contract the resident signs upon admission into the Assisted Living Facility.

Sec. 1008. Nonretaliation

The employer shall not discharge, refuse to hire, or in any manner retaliate against any employee, applicant for employment, or resident because such employee, applicant, or resident exercises any right to a smoke-free environment afforded by this policy.

Sec. 1009. Effective Date

This Smoke-Free Assisted Living Facility Policy shall be effective from and after the date of its adoption.


Model regulation prepared in March, 2003 by The Center for Social Gerontology, Inc., Ann Arbor, Michigan. http://www.tcsg.org