Contact: Katie Jones, MPH, CHES FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Phone: (319) 892-6000 March 17, 2014
Email: [email protected]
Two Senior Living Complexes Become 100 Percent Smoke-Free
Help Is Available for Property Managers and Owners Considering Going Smoke-Free
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – On March 1, Hilltop Manor, an affordable senior living complex in Marion, became a 100 percent smoke-free property. On April 1, Five Seasons Senior Housing in Cedar Rapids will follow suit, meaning a total of 108 units (54 in each building) will be smoke-free. HOMZ Management oversees both priorities and made the decision in part because of the work of a local effort to increase the number of smoke-free multi-unit housing buildings in Linn County, led by the Area Substance Abuse Council (ASAC) and Linn County Public Health (LCPH).
Although the Iowa Smokefree Air Act prohibits smoking in many indoor areas, including in the hallways and other shared common areas of multi-unit residential buildings, individual units are not covered. Air exchange between units can be as high as 65 percent and secondhand smoke is linked to lung cancer, heart disease, sinus infections, SIDS, and dementia in older adults. Despite the risks, many property owners and managers have not prohibited smoking inside individual units. Often they hesitate because they do not know where to begin or that they can prohibit all smoking in the building or the entire property.
ASAC and LCPH have been working together to reach out to property owners and managers to provide technical assistance on how to become 100 percent smoke-free. ASAC and LCPH have educational materials, a variety of sample lease addendums, and can help with strategies to go smoke-free. After meeting with LCPH staff and getting resources, HOMZ Management began the process of going 100 percent smoke-free. The Board of Directors of each property approved the decision and allowed management to proceed. Kelly Mathis of HOMZ Management provided Quitline Iowa information in both of the properties’ newsletters and Kelli Cogdill of HOMZ Management wrote up the new house rules. Outside designated smoking areas were set up away from windows and entrances.
Any property manager or owner who is interested in learning more can contact Amy Doerrfeld from ASAC at 319.390.1884/[email protected] or LCPH at 319.892.6000/[email protected] Tenants who have issues with exposure to secondhand smoke in their building can also contact ASAC and LCPH for assistance. More resources and information are available online at www.lchh.org/home/smoke-free-housing.