Fresno apartments adopt smoke-free policy

Fresno’s Sequoia Gardens, Villas Margaritas and Tower Court apartment complexes have voluntarily adopted a no-smoke policy recommended by the Fresno County Department of Public Health.

Concern is not just based on smokers, but on the health risk of secondhand smoke.

The department described the apartment managers adopting the policy as “public health champions.”

“Policies that restrict smoking in apartment complexes are not only good for the health of tenants, but they are also good for businesses,” said Leila Gholamrezaei-Eha, health educator for the Fresno County Department of Public Health Tobacco Prevention Program in a release. “These polices can lower property insurance and reduce other operating costs.”

The U.S. Surgeon General has concluded that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Also, the Surgeon General recommends eliminating smoking in indoor spaces to fully protect non-smokers from exposure to secondhand smoke.

The Tobacco Prevention Program conducted a public opinion poll with apartment complex tenants in the cities of Fresno, Clovis and Sanger. The poll found that 58 percent of the participants have had secondhand smoke drift into their apartment unit either from outside or from another unit.

The Tobacco Prevention Program works with apartment owners and managers to adopt and implement smoke-free polices.

Support for smoke-free apartments appears to be growing. “I adopted a smoke-free policy for my apartment complex because I don’t like how secondhand smoke affects non-smokers,” said Frances Echavarria, manager Villas Margaritas apartments. “The subject is dear to my heart because I have lost loved ones to secondhand smoke.”