We Pennsylvanians understand that we're not allowed to smoke in restaurants and bars anymore -- but what about in your apartment? The State Department of Health is encouraging landlords to eliminate smoking altogether. In PA, 113 multi-unit housing sites have banned smoking inside and outside of all units. This means that even lighting up in your car on the premises could potentially be grounds for eviction. Though this seems shocking, the state has made what many consider a compelling argument for landlords and property managers. Healthier? First, the ban saves other tenants from the dangers of second-hand smoke. In many complexes, smoke from one apartment can drift into the unit next-to or above it. This is an inconvenience for non-smokers as well as a health risk. The same problem occurs in outside common areas -- who hasn't occasionally been forced to step through a cloud of smoke when entering or exiting a building?
Cleaner? Second, no smoking means less mess. No one will have to sweep up cigarette butts from the sidewalk or parking lot. Landlords will also be saving cleaning costs because prolonged exposure to smoke often causes us to replace carpets and repaint walls.
More Attractive? Finally, an article on Philly.com describes the ban as a positive marketing move. The article quotes Dave P. Gravett, Executive Director of the Housing Authority of Chester County, hinting that the units look more attractive to potential residents without so much smoking going on out front.
At the moment, 21 % of adults in Pennsylvania admit to smoking cigarettes. Information about how many of those adults live in apartment complexes isn't available. It's also unclear if and how these regulations will stop smokers already living on the premises. What do you think?