U.S. - another housing authority bans smoking..

August 5. 2009 - Smoke-free apartment buildings are becoming the wave of the future and their numbers are increasing virtually daily. As the serious health effects of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), or secondhand smoke (sidestream smoke. passive smoking, involuntary smoking), have become better understood, the seepage of ETS into apartments and condominiums has emerged as a growing area of controversy for tenants and building owners alike.

A Report of the Surgeon General of the United States: The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke.. June 27, 2006

Recently, the Housing Authority of Murray, Kentucky adopted a policy that will ban residents from smoking inside their apartments. Faye Dodd, the agency's executive director, said they had considered making the units non-smoking for a few months partly because the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development has been encouraging housing authorities to adopt non-smoking policies. She said 112 housing authorities across the country are currently smoke-free.

However, she said the issue became more urgent in May after a resident fell asleep while smoking and the apartment burned down. Dodd said the Housing Authority is still working out the details with its insurance company, but that the building will most likely have to be torn down and rebuilt.

Dodd said the smoke-free policy was written in June and was approved in July. It will go into effect Sept. 1 for new residents. People already living in the units will be allowed to smoke inside until their current leases run out, but will have to stop if they sign a new lease. They will still be free to smoke outside their apartments, she said. Smoking will be considered a violation of the lease agreement and three violations will be cause for eviction, she said.

Dodd said that the apartments used to have stand-alone air conditioning and baseboard heating, but that the Housing Authority began upgrading to central heating and air in 2004 , with the last unit having been completed in April of this year. She said the system sometimes causes smoke to drift from one apartment to another and that some residents have complained that their neighbors' smoking has caused health problems for children with asthma.

Reference: Housing Authority to prohibit smoking by HAWKINS TEAGUE,
Staff WriterHousing Authority to prohibit smoking