The St. James Housing Authority at Park Apartments has decided to regulate the use of tobacco products within their properties to ensure the health and safety.
Starting April 1st. Park Apartments in St. James are telling residents to put out their cigarettes. The adopted policy bans smoking in all apartment units. Residents will be allowed to smoke on the patio and about 25 feet from the front door.
Bonnie Frederickson says, "It creates a healthier and safe living place for the residents."
Bonnie Frederickson is a registered nurse and now works as a community specialist. During today's workshop she explained how secondhand smoke has more than 4,000 chemicals which can affect heart and respiratory functions.
The apartment staff says they forward to this change not only for the health benefits but also because the turnover will be much faster and cheaper. They say it can cost up to $3,000 to fix up a unit if the renter was a smoker.
Linda Blackstad says, "When we have a smoker who is moving out we have often have to pull the carpet, scrub all the woodwork and we paint and it gets expensive the blinds everything needs to go out."
Residents who are supportive of this policy are not only looking out for their own health but for their friends and family that visit them.
Kay Lang says, "I think it's great, other people who smoke heavily they aren't going to think it's so great but I can't worry about them I want to make sure when my grandsons come here that they aren't inhaling smoke."
The last time the complex tried to implement this type of policy was in 2005... However, it didn't go through because the majority of the renters were