The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tell us secondhand smoke can sicken and even kill those exposed, which means that sharing a space with a smoker can be dangerous to your health.

This also applies to a multi-unit apartment homes that has one smoker. The smoke can seep into a nonsmoker’s living space through air vents, electrical outlets and cracks in the walls. The other residents will be exposed even if they may not see or smell the secondhand smoke.

The Tobacco Free Columbia-Dane County Coalition has been working with landlords to encourage them create smoke-free buildings. One of the pioneering landlords to adopt this policy is the McKenzie Apartment Company.

According to Arika Kleinert, a property manager for McKenzie, Blackhawk Trails, Waterside, and Siena Ridge apartments decided to implement several smoke-free buildings for health reasons, safety, cleanliness and lower turnover costs. The risk of smoking-related fires is reduced in smoke-free units.

Those rental companies interested in learning more should visit www.wismokefreehousing.com or contact me at ngregerson@publichealthmdc.com.

-- Nina Gregerson, TFDC outreach specialist, Madison

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