Multihousing Unit in Glendale is the latest in Maricopa County to go Smoke free

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                
May 26, 2011
Contact: Laurie Thomas  480 540-6050

Phoenix —Waymark Gardens, a 150 unit HUD subsidized senior community complex located at 5325 West Butler Drive in Glendale will voluntarily become a smoke free property with a designated outdoor smoking area on June 1, 2011.  There will be no smoking anywhere on the property EXCEPT in the designated area. 

Waymark Gardens Administrator, Lisa Sunderlin began exploring the possibilities of a “smoke free environment” when the residents began complaining about the cigarette smell in the hallways.  After doing a great deal of research on secondhand smoke and compliance, Sunderlin had many compelling reasons to implement a smoke free policy on her property, including:

Secondhand smoke (SHS) is deadly – Annually causes an estimated 53,000 deaths in the U.S. Has been proven to increase the risk of cancer, heart disease, asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia and many other ailments.

Legal considerations- Smoke free apartments are legal in all properties including HUD assisted and Section 8 housing.

No smoking/No problem – You can make all or part of your property smoke free, including inside the units. No smoking rules are those similar to restrictions on pets, loud noise and other nuisances.

No smoking rules are not discriminatory – There is no constitutional right to smoke. Smokers are not a protected class under Federal Law or protected by the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Save money/protect property Apartments that allow smoking can cost $500 to $8,000 more to clean. Cigarette smoke stains walls and ceilings and leaves toxins and odors in carpet, on the walls and in drapes and/or blinds.

Lower repair costs – Cigarettes can leave burn holes in carpets, counter tops and linoleum. Also, smoking is a fire hazard.  In fact, smoking is the number one cause of residential fire deaths in the U.S. 

Decrease insurance rates – Some insurers offer lower rates if a smoke free policy is implemented.

American with Disabilities Act (ADA) – Gives tenants with disabilities, including breathing problems, special legal rights under state and federal fair housing laws. The ADA may give legal recourse for those with second hand smoke problems. *National Center for Healthy Housing – Reasons to explore SF Housing 2009; and,

Last year HUD issued their second recommendation for HUD properties to go smoke free.

Sunderlin contacted the Maricopa County Tobacco Use Prevention Program (MCTUPP) for assistance with smoke free policies in multi-housing units.

Susan Bergquist of MCTUPP provided education, information about the health risks of tobacco use, information on the dangers of second-hand and third-hand smoke, and information about the resources available free to all Arizonans through the Arizona Smokers’ HelpLine at 1800-55-66-222 or ASHLine.org.

“Smoke free policies are about health and safety, not the smoker, Bergquist said. “Smoke free policies do not preclude someone who smokes from living in the building; they simply require that all tenants abide by the policy while on the property.”

There are several reasons why multi-housing authorities, agents and owners are looking at smokefree housing. HUD is recommending it, tenants are requiring it and property managers see it positively effects their bottom line.  The cost is at least double to clean a smoker’s apartment when a tenant moves out.  Also the market is greater for people looking for smokefree housing – in Arizona less than 17% of the population still smokes.

There are many properties in Maricopa County in the process of implementing smoke free policies.  For more information, or if you would like to register your smoke free property with the County, email: susanbergquist@mail.maricopa.gov

MW

Multihousing properties in Maricopa County that have smokefree policies:

Waymark Gardens – Senior – smokefree with designated smoking area – 150 units

Manistee Manor – Seniors – property is smokefree – 75 units

Rehoboth Place (opened smokefree this spring) – family – Property is smokefree – 47 units

Paradise Valley Retirement Center – senior – smokefree with designated smoking area –126 units

There are also two shelters, several residential treatment centers and senior care facilities that have gone smokefree.

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About MACTUPP

Maricopa County Tobacco Use Prevention Program assists the residents of Maricopa County with the prevention and cessation of tobacco and tobacco products and the prevention of chronic disease.

About Arizona Smokers’ Helpline

Funded by the state tax on tobacco products through the Bureau of Tobacco and Chronic Disease at the Arizona Department of Health Services, the Arizona Smokers’ Helpline and ASHLine.org have been helping people quit tobacco since 1995. Free telephone and Web-based quit services are provided to all Arizonans free of charge.  For information, call

1-800-55-66-222 or visit www.ASHLine.org.

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