Local rentals go smoke-free

First Posted: 2/12/2015

LIMA — Residents of housing owned by two local landlords won’t have to go far for a breath of fresh air.

At the end of the 2014, Market Place Apartments and Kelko Holdings implemented smoke-free policies to promote residents’ health and safety.

“Due to the increased risk of fire and the known health effects of secondhand tobacco smoke, smoking is prohibited in any area of this property, both private and common, whether enclosed or outdoors,” Deidra Kellogg-Okoye, manager of Kelko Holdings, said in a press release. “The policy applies to all tenants living in the household, guests and service persons.”

Allen County Public Health’s Health Educator Shelly Miller said the process to enforce a smoke-free zone varies based on who initiates it. Sometimes, it could include petitions, meetings and notices sent out to tenants.

It only took a matter of months for Holdings since Kellogg-Okoye pursued the new policy after hearing about the organization’s smoke-free initiative. Allen County’s grant-funded smoke-free project has been ongoing for about five years.

The policy change at Market Place Apartments was inspired by resident concerns. Miller supplied them with a petition.

In that particular situation, Miller said the resident was concerned about smoking overall. In the past, she’s received more specific health-related complaints from different buildings. For example, she received a call from a pregnant woman who said a large amount of second-hand smoke was seeping into her apartment.

“They’re just not smokers, and they don’t want to breathe it in,” Miller said.

The new policies include the inside and outside of a tenant’s house or apartment. The no-smoking zone extends 25 feet from common areas, such as stairwells, hallways, entryways, patios, playgrounds or laundry facilities.

“It’s a way to eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke,” Miller said. “It’s always an issue, and this is a way to make sure housing is smoke free and people don’t have to be exposed.”

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