Larson Commons passes Smoke-Free PolicyDominium Incorporated’s Larson Commons Senior Apartments in Cloquet passed a smoke-free policy that will go into effect on Sept. 1, 2012.
Dominium Incorporated’s Larson Commons Senior Apartments in Cloquet passed a smoke-free policy that will go into effect on Sept. 1, 2012.
The American Lung Association’s Smoke-Free Housing Program was invited to do a tenant presentation on lung health, secondhand smoke and the trends around smoke-free multi-unit housing in partnership with Dr. Skip Hofstrand from Raiter Clinic, Cloquet. As part of the presentation, the resident attendees were given a survey and 93 percent said they would prefer a smoke-free building or had no preference. The survey also identified that 23 percent of residents surveyed were suffering from heart disease or a lung condition which could be worsened by the exposure to secondhand smoke.
“It is clear that the majority of residents do not want to be exposed to secondhand smoke in their homes,” said Missy Hill, building manager at Larson Commons. “We are communicating to current and future residents that smokers are still welcome here – the policy states they just need to smoke outside. We believe this will create a safer and healthier environment for all our residents.”
“I’m so grateful we are going smoke-free because we live in a nice building with many elderly people who shouldn’t be exposed to secondhand smoke,” commented one resident in the building. “I am not only concerned about how the smoke in the building impacts my health, but also the health of my pet.”
A recent market survey commissioned by the American Lung Association of Minnesota of over 600 renters in Carlton, Lake and St. Louis counties showed that smoke-free homes are already the norm. Seventy-two percent of the 600 renters surveyed described their individual unit as “smoke-free.” The survey also showed that the demand for smoke-free rental housing is high; 78 percent of respondents said all things being equal that they would choose a smoke-free apartment building over a building that allows smoking. Even during these tough economic times, nearly 30 percent of respondents said they would even pay more rent to live in a smoke-free building.
“We know from this market survey that 30 percent of people living in rental housing in our region suffer from heart disease or a lung condition such as asthma or emphysema,” said Jill Doberstein, program manager for the American Lung Association in Minnesota. “We also know from the 2006 Surgeon General’s report that breathing secondhand smoke for even a short time can have immediate negative health effects.”
The American Lung Associations’ smoke-free housing program works together with landlords, tenants, and the community to increase the number of voluntary smoke-free apartments in Northeast Minnesota so tenants can live in a healthy, smoke-free environment. Learn more at www.LungMN.org/SmokeFreeHousing.