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The Case for Smoke-Free Housing
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  1. The Case for Smoke-Free Housing Smoke-Free Housing Is… Good for Business Good for Health

  2. You Are Not Alone • In Colorado, more than 1000 multiunit residential communities and 25,000+ units have 100% no-smoking policies indoors. • Twenty housing authorities have implemented or are phasing in no-smoking policies in more than 500 buildings and 3,900 units • They include: Akron, Aurora, Boulder, Boulder County, Carbondale, Delta, Denver, Eagle County, Estes Park, Fort Collins, Grand Junction,Grand County,Holyoke, Lakewood, Littleton, Longmont, Loveland, Rifle, Salida, and Wellington

  3. AMLI at Inverness “The feedback from prospective and current residents has been overwhelmingly positive, and they really appreciate that tobacco smoke will not enter their residences when someone smokes inside their units or on the property. Even people who smoke are renting apartments here because they see it as an incentive to quit smoking. Alicia Persich, Marketing Coordinator The 309-unit Englewood community opened July 2008 and the policy includes the entire grounds

  4. Save Money • Reduce the costs of cleaning and repairing carpets, furniture, fixtures, window treatments, priming and painting walls, and general maintenance • Lower utility bills and decrease the use of air-treatment systems — 30% less according to estimates by Marriott Hotels

  5. Cleaning a Smoke-Free Unit Two-bedroom, two-bath apartment estimate Total Cost $570 Cost can vary depending on the extent of the damage and the equipment used

  6. Cleaning a Smoky Unit Two-bedroom, two-bath apartment estimate Total Cost $4,003 BluSky Restoration Cost can vary depending on the extent of the damage and the equipment used

  7. Other Savings & Benefits • Fire risks and fire damage are reduced • Lower insurance premiums may be possible, negotiate with your insurance provider • Improves property values because there is less damage caused by smoking and discarded cigarettes • Maintenance costs even less when the policy covers the entire grounds

  8. Additional Benefits • Spend less time dealing with smoking-related complaints • Protect the health of your residents and workers — including staff and maintenance • A free listing at

  9. The Smoke-Free Advantage “While we have certainly seen some exciting market opportunities for businesses over the years, we rarely see such obvious ones. Frankly, if a private property-management firm had conducted this research, it might be tempted to keep the findings confidential to gain an initial competitive advantage.” Campbell DeLong Resources, Inc Portland, Oregon

  10. Attract Residents • 82% of adults in Colorado do not smoke • 85.4% of Colorado households report having no-smoking rules • Surveys conducted throughout the US indicate that most residents, including low-income and minority populations, would prefer living in a nonsmoking building

  11. Colorado Residents SupportNo-Smoking Policies • 66.3% of Boulder County Housing Authority’s residents in January 2008. 285 out of 467 (61%) residents participated. • 65% of Lakewood’s Eaton Terrace Senior Residences in April 2008. 119 out of 122 (98%) residents participated. • 64% of Longmont’s Inn Between homeless people and families in September 2008. 39 out of 50 (78%) residents participated. • 70.5% of Salida’s Mount Shavano Manor residents in September 2008. 45 out of 50 (90%) residents participated. • 100% of Alamosa’s Tierra Nueva farmer worker residents in July 2009. 20 out of 32 (62%) residents participated. • 61.9% of Alamosa Housing Authority’s residents in September 2009. 21 out of 41 (52.5%) residents participated.

  12. Survey of 2,546 Colorado students shows 86%prefer smoke-free living

  13. Retain Residents • A Minnesota survey showed that 95% of owners or managers who have prohibited smoking in both large and small apartment communities reported that the no-smoking policy either increased occupancy or had no impact

  14. Happy Renters Stay Longer • Coloradans are used to smoke-free workplaces, restaurants, bars, and public places. They expect clean indoor air in their dwellings too • Most residents do not want to continue to suffer the health consequences of breathing secondhand smoke when it drifts into their residences

  15. Resident Concerns • When tobacco smoke infiltrates into people’s residences through doors, windows, or ventilation systems, the consequences can be just as intense and harmful as exposure during a full day’s work • Many residents feel they should have the same protection from secondhand smoke that the vast majority of Coloradans enjoy at work, in bars and restaurants, and in other public places

  16. A Market Advantage Those who prefer to smoke inside their units are a significantly smaller percentage than those who prefer to live in a no-smoking residence

  17. Landlords Who Implement No-Smoking Policies Never Go Back “Not one of the landlords who prohibits smoking regrets doing so and none are considering going back to allowing smoking in any unit where it has been prohibited. Many said that once they tried it in one property, they quickly wanted it in all.” Campbell DeLong Resources, Inc Portland, Oregon

  18. Smoke-Free Policies Are Legal • The Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act of 2006 allows landlords to make any part of their property nonsmoking and prohibits smoking in all indoor common areas (CRS 25-14-206)

  19. Smoke-Free Policies Are Legal • There is no legal or constitutional right to smoke, and no court has ever recognized smoking as a protected right • It is not discriminatory or a violation of any fair-housing regulations. • That’s why no-smoking policies already exist in bars, restaurants, work sites, and public places

  20. What About Section 8? “Currently, there are no statutory or regulatory provisions governing smoking in Section 8 project-based subsidized properties. Owners of such properties are required to comply with applicable state and local laws, which would include any laws governing cigarette smoking in residential units and in common areas. However, owners may adopt reasonable house rules that are related to the safety and habitability of the building and comfort of the residents. It is at the owner's discretion to determine if a smoke-free policy would be applicable to their property.” Marcie D. LaPorte, Director, Denver Multifamily Hub at HUD

  21. HUD Recommendation • The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development strongly encourages Public Housing Authorities to implement no-smoking policies in some or all of their public housing units. July 2009

  22. Protecting the Public Health • The 2006 U.S. Surgeon General Report states that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke • Secondhand smoke causes disease and nearly 50,000 deaths in the U.S. each year from heart disease, lung cancer, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), among others • Secondhand smoke is a real health hazard and not merely a nuisance

  23. The Science is Clear “The scientific evidence is now indisputable: secondhand smoke is not a mere annoyance. It is a serious health hazard that can lead to disease and premature death in children and nonsmoking adults.” Former U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona, 2006

  24. It Has More Than 250 Toxic or Cancer-Causing Chemicals

  25. Is Ventilation an Option? • Secondhand smoke cannot be controlled using ventilation or air-cleaning systems • Up to 50% of the air in multiunit housing may be re-circulated throughout an entire building

  26. ASHRAE on Ventilation “At present, the only means of effectively eliminating the health risk associated with indoor exposure is to ban smoking activity” “No cleaning, ventilation or air-cleaning technologies …control health risks from environmental tobacco smoke exposure in spaces where smoking occurs” The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) sets the industry standards for ventilation

  27. Lower Risk of Fire • A smoke-free building is safer for children, adults, seniors, and pets • Cigarettes cause an average of 5% of all residential fires in Colorado • In 2006 residential fires caused 39% of all residential fire fatalities, 7% of residential fire injuries, and 3% of all residential property loss Colorado State Fire Chiefs Association

  28. Implementation & Enforcement “Enforcement is not a problem and few owners experience backlash from residents after implementing a no-smoking policy” Units, December 2007, National Apartment Association Implementation and enforcement experiences vary amongst landlords, but landlords indicate that once they try no-smoking in one building they expand it to other buildings, and they never go back to allowing smoking.

  29. Village at the Buffs “When I initiated the no-smoking policy, no residents complained and no one moved out. Since then, our waiting list has grown.” Monica Slamkowski, Community Administrator The 51-unit Colorado Springs Section 8 community became smoke-free in February 2007

  30. Enforcement Tools • Rental agreements and lease language should clearly state the policy for the building, units, balconies, and common areas • Signs in and around the building help remind residents and visitors of the policy • Outdoor designated smoking areas should be clearly marked and 15 to 25 feet away from any part of the building and all windows and doors

  31. Implementation Steps • Educate residents about the dangers of secondhand smoke • Make a management decision or conduct a survey to determine the preferences of the residents • Communicate the policy through meetings, in person, and in writing

  32. Talking Points for Residents • Indoor air quality will be healthier for everybody and protects everyone from the exposure to secondhand smoke. • Reduced fire risk increases the safety of residents and families. • People who smoke are welcome. They will have to step outside and away from the building to smoke. • Less building damage may help management keep rental costs stable. • QuitLine smoking cessation assistance and resources are available by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW or at

  33. Put it in Writing • Adopt lease rules and have residents initial them • Communicate the consequences of policy violations • Draft good lease language: Make it clear that residents, household members, or visitors may not smoke inside their units, common areas, balconies, patios, or within 25 feet of any building on the property. Consult an attorney for proper language and compliance with local and state laws

  34. Other Implementation Tips • If you plan to “grandfather in” the policy, limit the time to no more than a year • Provide smoking cessation information and referrals • Talk to other landlords who have implemented policies

  35. For Condominiums • Review the governing documents • Educate the homeowners association’s board and make a proposal • A percentage of the owners may have to vote and approve any rule changes • Make changes to the governing documents and file them with the appropriate governing body

  36. Keeping the Air Clear • Use advertising to attract residents who desire a non-smoking environment • Communicate the policy to prospective residents • Visit the property and perform inspections • Maintain good signage at all times.

  37. Free No-Smoking Signs

  38. We Want to be Your Partners • We welcome the opportunity to assist you • We appreciate and welcome your expertise, feedback, insights, and advice • We look forward to working with you!

  39. Colorado’s Web Resources • Provides resources for landlords, residents, and housing providers to help implement no-smoking policies • Provides a list of residential communities in Colorado that have no-smoking rules inside their buildings. • Information about the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act, free signs, and other materials

  40. How Can We Help? • Local or state tobacco-prevention programs may be able to assist property managers with: • Surveys and implementation steps • Sample policies and educational materials • Guidance and assistance • Smoking-cessation resources and information

  41. Statewide Contacts • Pete Bialick • Group to Alleviate Smoking Pollution (GASP of Colorado) • 303-444-9799 • Cindy Liverance • American Lung Association • 303-847-0267 For statewide matters and assistance in areas where there are no local health agencies working on smoke-free housing Jill Bednarek, MSW Colorado Dept of Public Health and Environment State Tobacco Education and Prevention Partnership 303-692-2475