Did you know that according to the Nebraska Clean Indoor Air Act smoking is not allowed inside of common areas and any general shared areas within rental buildings? Many people think that the policy only applies to business, like restaurants, where smoking is prohibited, but don’t realize that their apartment buildings common areas are also covered. Some common areas include hallways, laundry rooms, and lobbies.
Rent Smoke-Free is an important initiative that the Metro Omaha Tobacco Action Coalition (MOTAC) began about 5 years ago to increase the number of smoke-free housing options available. Douglas County Health Department (DCHD) has also joined the effort and has partnered with MOTAC to help support landlords and inform tenants on the benefits of renting smoke-free. There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke, and there is no way to stop secondhand smoke from traveling from one unit to another once someone starts smoking inside an apartment building. Reports from the Center for Disease Control show that children are especially vulnerable to the health effects of secondhand smoke because of their developing bodies and lungs, and children that are exposed to secondhand smoke are increasingly more susceptible to asthma, ear infections, decreased reading and math scores, and higher levels of behavioral problems. Through MOTAC and DCHD efforts materials are provided to landlords and tenants, some of which include: window clings, manuals on going smoke-free and its benefits, cigarette receptacles for designated smoking areas as an alternative to smoking inside, and free no smoking signage.
What are your thoughts concerning renting smoke-free living? Does smoking in apartment buildings affect you?
Join us in participating in the dialogue about World No Tobacco Day! Talk about it and Share it. Leave us a comment, Facebook us, or Tweet us @UNMCCRHD @MOTACOmaha using hashtag: #WNTD2013!