Smoking at home: AR Apartments

Arkansas Apartment Updates

Apartment smoking ban generates a close vote

November 27, 2007
Howard Stutz
The Baxter Bulletin Online Poll participants narrowly split on the question of whether smoking should be banned in multiunit apartment complexes. Only eight votes separated those against such a prohibition from those who favored it.

According to a story in The New York Times earlier this week, apartment dwellers across the country have been targeted with smoking bans. Two California cities have passed ordinances to ban smoking inside apartment buildings. In the last year, two large residential real estate companies with apartment complexes in several states have banned smoking, about 60 housing authorities around the country have prohibited smoking, and other apartment complexes in the country have moved to curb smoking.
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Should government or property owners be able to ban smoking inside multiunit residential apartment complexes?

There were 292 votes in all. Voting no were 148 participants, or 50.7 percent. Supporting the idea were 140 voters, or 47.9 percent.

Four participants, 1.4 percent, were unsure.

This is not a scientific poll. It simply is an opportunity for readers to express themselves.

Here are some of the comments we received:

“Smoke permeates into adjacent units, affecting others and their health. We frequently read articles about careless smoking burning down apartment complexes and not only causing loss of property but often injury and/or loss of life.”

“Cigarette smoke, along with its stink and health hazards, reaches people beyond the user. Where smoking tobacco is used, it should be heavily regulated to protect the general public.”

“What’s next? If you get caught smoking, you will be arrested? Harassment is now the order of the day for anyone who dares to smoke. I personally have been yelled at and insulted to the nth-degree for smoking. If everyone is so upset about someone smoking, why don’t they lobby for getting cheaper stop smoking aids so smokers could afford to at least try to quit? The patches for one week cost $32, and Chantix is higher I know there will be lots of letters regarding what I said, but that’s OK; I’m used to abuse. And my answer is “no” to the poll. What other rights will be taken away?”

“Government, no. Property owner, yes.”

“A property owner should be able to say no smoking just as easily as saying no pets when they rent apartments.”

“I smoke, but not in my home. I don’t think any renter should be allowed to smoke in the home/apartment unless they are able to provide a security deposit large enough to cover the costs of a total redo .. once they move out. Have you ever lived in a place that once inhabited a smoker? It is stinky, and does permanent damage to the dwelling. Want to smoke inside? You should have to buy it first, then do what you want on your dime, not mine.”

“A rental dwelling is your residence, not your property. If you want to burn holes in the carpet and stain the walls, paint, curtains and windows brown with nicotine, you need to find a landlord who doesn’t care about his property, or purchase your own. … Smokers, as tenants, are a poor business risk. Clean up, painting and carpet replacement can cost thousands. Pets can be prohibited. Smokers can, too.”

“Actually, I have lived in more than one apartment complex in Mountain Home, and, in my opinion, I would say the owner could ban smoking if he or she so chose. After all, some have two stories or more, and that could pose a threat to others if there was a fire from smoking. Also, even if you were outside smoking on a balcony or patio, it could still drift to other apartments. I do know that because I have experienced it firsthand.”

“Stop attacking the people when they should be stopping the manufacturers. It’s like saying it’s OK to produce meth, but it’s illegal to use it. Leave the smokers alone, and go after the producers.”

“Hey, it’s OK for apartment owners to limit or ban pets, why shouldn’t they be able to ban smoking? Not for the obvious health reasons, but rather because of the cleanup costs. Odors in drapes and carpets can be very hard and expensive to remove, and everybody knows that money rules. Hotels ban smoking in lots of rooms. Entire apartment complexes can do the same. There are always rooms at a hotel that allows it, and there will be different complexes that also allow. You smoke, choose a more sympathetic place to live.”

Thanks to everyone who participated in The Bulletin’s Online Poll and for your comments. We encourage readers to take part and express themselves on the issues raised in the polls.

If you’d like to submit a letter to the editor expressing your opinions on this issue, or others, feel free to do so.

You also are encouraged to take part in the StoryChat forums at our online edition, www.baxterbulletin.com. You can discuss the stories, editorials and other subjects and take part in community-wide conversations.
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New Online Poll: Smoking ban in the home?
Baxter Bulletin – Mountain Home,AR,USA
Being told you can’t smoke inside your own residence may sound far-fetched, but it’s happening in some parts of the United States. ….

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