Center for Reducing Health Disparities

Rent Smoke-Free to Protect Your Health

Have you ever lived in an apartment complex where people smoke? I am lucky enough to not have experienced this, but there are many others that are not so lucky. They live in apartment building where their neighbors smoke and they do not like the smoke because it permeates through their apartment. Some don’t like the cigarettes smoke because of the smell, while others are concerned of the secondhand smoke that they and their family are inhaling. In some cases, kids that suffer from asthma can get asthma attacks if they are near someone smoking. The smoke from cigarettes also stays in furniture and on the walls, this is known as thirdhand smoke and it can also create health problems.  These are some of the reasons why there is a demand for smoke-free housing. If you are experiencing a similar situation, know that there are smoke-free apartments in the Omaha area.  Visit the Metro Omaha Tobacco Action Coalition’s (MOTAC) website and you will find a list of apartments that are smoke-free. Click on the link below to find a smoke-free apartment:

http://dogis.org/SmokeFreeHousing_shortlist/

If you are an apartment or property owner, you can get your property listed in this same list. Also, if you are thinking of making your entire properties or some buildings in your properties smoke-free, MOTAC can provide you with the information that you need to make this happen. The entire process does take time but a MOTAC member will give you the information you need so that you are successful at implementing your smoke-free policy. A few examples of the type of information that you will receive is a sample survey that you can sent to your tenants to find out how many want to live in a smoke-free apartment and sample lease addendums. You will also receive materials to educate tenants such as smoking cessation information and why smoke-free housing is important.

Various property owners that have had their properties go smoke-free have had a positive experience. Their tenancy rates have not decreased and their costs have decreased since they no longer have to spend money on rehabilitating units and there are no damages due to fires that were caused by smoking materials. They will also tell you that the transition to smoke-free housing was not as difficult as you might think. Also, smokers are not a protected class so you are able to have smoke-free buildings or even the entire campus if you are interested in a smoke-free policy for your property. As a tenant you have the right to smoke-free housing and property owners are able to implement a smoke-free policy if they wish. Therefore, it is time to advocate for smoke-free housing policies in our community!

We hope that you will join us for this day of action by participating in the online dialogue on Facebook, Twitter, and of course right here on our Blog.  Become a fan of our Facebook page.  Follow us on Twitter @UNMCCRHD @MOTACOmaha and engage with us using the hashtag: #WNTD2016 and #NoTobacco!

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