Local apartment buildings going smoke-free

Published 6:05 pm Saturday, August 3, 2013

Special to the Daily News

WASHINGTON, ENGELHARD, BELHAVEN—Brittany Place, Mattamuskeet Village, and Pungo Village Apartments are scheduled to go smoke-free on Jan. 1, 2014, along with all 249 properties managed by Partnership Property Management (PPM) of Greensboro.

“Smoke-free housing is an industry trend, and one that can save both lives and money,” said Rick Allen, vice president and chief operating officer of PPM. “The best way to protect our property and our residents from secondhand smoke and the risk of fire is to stop allowing smoking in our buildings.”

PPM manages 249 properties in five states; all are going smoke-free on January 1. Residents were notified starting in April of 2013 to prepare for the change.

“We have shared, and will continue to share, information and free resources to help any of our employees and residents quit smoking who would like to,” Allen said. “I’m pleased to say that many are looking at the new policy as an opportunity to adopt a healthier lifestyle.”

According to Allen, the costs of allowing smoking in a multi-unit housing building are well known. A smoking unit costs much more than a non-smoking unit does to prepare for a new tenant. And one fire caused by smoking materials can destroy large amounts of property and threaten the safety of residents, as well as employees and firefighters.

Other costs include dealing with complaints about drifting smoke, which is more than a nuisance to others, as secondhand smoke has been shown by studies to cause cancer, heart attacks and asthma attacks in nonsmokers.

“Our residents are the heart of our company,” Allen said. “We want to protect their health as well as the health and future of our properties.”