Southside Apartments in Lonsdale to Go Smoke Free on New Year’s Day

December 26, 2013
Rice County Public Health will present a certificate to LeighAnne Curtis, on-site manager of Southside Apartments, in appreciation of the new Smoke-Free policy they have adopted and will be implementing January 1, 2014.
Residents from a number of the units attended an October presentation led by Curtis and co-facilitated by Andrea Kronbach and Lisa Guck from Rice County Public Health.  After the new policy was explained and questions were answered at the presentation, residents in all 12 units received new lease addendums.  Residents were given the choice to sign the new lease addendum, agreeing to follow the new rules, or they would need to find alternative housing.
Curtis said that all units have turned in their lease addendums, agreeing to not smoke in their units or 25 feet from any buildings on the property.
The smoke-free policy will be enforced like any other part of the lease.  The change does not require residents to quit smoking.  It just requires them not to smoke indoors or within 25 feet of the buildings.
Smoke-free policies in rental buildings are the only way to protect residents from smoke drifting between units.
The legislature prohibited smoking in indoor common areas of apartment buildings with the 2007 Freedom to Breathe Act.  Property owners and managers make the decision whether residents can smoke in individual units.
Going smoke-free is good for health, because exposure to secondhand smoke increases the risk of heart disease and lung cancer in nonsmokers.  Property owners also choose to implement smoke-free policies for fire safety reasons and the reduced costs of maintenance.  The costs of painting and refurbishing units are much lower when residents do not smoke indoors.
The Four Corners Partnership educates the public and elected officials in Dodge, Goodhue, Rice and Steele counties about the harm tobacco causes.  We advocate for proven, evidence-based policies that will reduce tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke, and prevent youth from starting to smoke.  Learn more at:
Andrea Kronbach, Rice County Health Educator, (507) 332-5921
Deb Purfeerst, Rice County Public Health Director (507) 332-5914