Steps for transitioning an apartment building to smoke-free.
-EDUCATION IS THE KEY
Notice to the current residents of building/units :
The most important thing we can do is to educate the residents on why the policy change is needed. The notice will need to be educational in nature, noting the dangers and how smoking affects the non-smoking residents in that building.
" the dangers of tobacco smoke
" why it is important to make some policy changes to protect non-smoking residents
" when and where the policy change will occur
Notice to all residents:
You want all residents to know about the new no smoking policy. This will accomplish the following:
" Those visiting the building will already be aware of the fact that they cannot smoke there.
" Other non-smoking residents will become aware that you are doing this and let you know if they also want or need to live in a smoke-free building.
" Smokers in other buildings will learn more about the dangers of the smoke, and may even move their smoking outdoors away from the buildings on their own.
-FUTURE RESIDENTS OF THE SMOKE-FREE BUILDING
Be prepare to ask future potential residents of that building if they smoke, and show them the policy before leasing. Many smokers now prefer to live in smoke-free buildings because they do not smoke inside their own homes. As long as you clarify it with them up front they will let you know if they would be happier in a smoking-permitted building. It is perfectly legal to ask the question, Do you smoke? on all rental applications. This also allows you to include additional deposits (just as with pets) for smoked-in units.
Enforcement is not difficult. Once residents are aware of the policy, although they may not be happy at first, they will gradually accept and live with them. For instance, hospitals all over the country (and around the world) are going to 100% smoke-free campuses. This means no one smokes anywhere, even in the parking lots. Even the employees are being told they must quit smoking to work in these medical facilities. Smokers know their habit is dangerous for others. Remember, you will not be telling them they cannot smoke. You will simply be applying a policy that protects the health of others, requiring that smoking be done outside away from the building. As the smokers move out it is likely it will not come up again. Non-smokers have told us they love to be able to tell “uncle Joe” he can no longer smoke in their apartment when he comes to visit because it is “against the rules.” You can also make a pocket card to hand out if necessary with an explanation of the policy. It will be important that everyone treat those who smoke with respect and kindness at all times.