Landlords make effort to protect tenants from second-hand smoke

January 26, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
You don't have to inhale "second-hand smoke" to be affected by the potential cancer-causing fumes.

"I never smoked in my life," said Beatrice, a person affected by second-hand smoke. "I never even touched a cigarette."

But Beatrice Has COPD and nodules on her lungs from inhaling someone else's cigarette smoke while she lived in an apartment.

Research Scientist Doctor Andrew Hyland said, "You're looking at an estimate of anywhere between 40 and 60,000 deaths per year attributable to second-hand smoke."

That's more than all fatal car crashes each year.

28 states banned smoking in public places but smoking in apartments is still legal. Now some property owners are adopting smoke-free policies.

Smoke can easily travel through vents and cracks under doors.

Jenna Brinkworth of the Tobacco-Free Coalition educates landlords on how to make the switch.

Brinkworth said, "This is a growing trend across the country. Many landlords are becoming more aware that it's something they can legally do."

Smoke-free policies have increased 1,300 percent in the last six years and tenants are thankful.

Madeline has asthma from secondhand smoke. Like Beatrice, she now lives in a smoke-free complex for her health.

"I don't want to get any worse," she said. "I wanna see my grandkids and I wanna see my grandkids get married."

Smokers are not a protected class. It's legal for landlords to change to a smoke-free policy at any time.


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