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SMOKING: Secondhand smoke should be declared a nuisance

Letter by John Ruze, Lakewood on Aug. 31, 2010 at 1:06 pm with 10 Comments »
August 31, 2010 1:33 pm

Re: “Smoke-free in apartments” (TNT, 8-29).

The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department should definitely endorse amending the state Landlord-Tenant Act to include secondhand smoke as a “nuisance” similar to loud music or barking dogs. Many people are surprised it wasn’t included as a nuisance five years ago.

Declaring secondhand smoke a “nuisance” would simply give a tenant the upper hand in removing unwanted secondhand smoke from their property, particularly in the case when a landlord does not include a smoking policy in their lease (now law in Oregon).

Pierce County landlords should know they can already include a very strict no-smoking policy in their leases. I own/run Lakewood’s only completely smoke- and tobacco-free apartment complex, Truaire Apartments. Our policy has been most successful and provides a safer, cleaner, healthy living environment.

Amending the Landlord-Tenant Act to recognize secondhand smoke as a nuisance is the right thing.

Leave a comment Comments → 10
  1. cooking some foods is a nuisance to others, to some incense is a nuisance, another nuisance is the smell of a wet dog. How about the smell of the car exhaust from a car or cars idling outside the window? Oh and then there’s the smell of flatulance (which after some meals is pretty overpowering).

    Sure I suppose the county health department could endorse anything they want. But they need to back off on smoking or second hand smoke. They should start telling people about how the chemicals we use every day in cleaing our homes have a stronger link to childhood illness than smoking or second hand smoke does. Don’t see them trying to ban Pine Sol do ya.

  2. APimpNamedSlickback says:

    The letter writer owns/runs Lakewood’s “only completely smoke – and tobacco – free apartment complex.”

    I have to wonder, by “tobacco free” does he mean that he prohibits his tenants from chewing tobacco or using snuff? If so, what is his justification for that? I don’t personally believe secondhand smoke is as dangerous as the health fascists want you to believe, but I’ll agree that it smells bad and some would consider it a nuisance. And since I’m all for business owners making whatever business decisions they want, I don’t mind landlords choosing to create a smoke-free policy in their buildings. Smoke does devalue the property. But there is no valid public safety argument against chew or snuff, much less an argument rooted in business practices.

  3. BlaineCGarver says:

    The hyper allergic people and kids that smoke harms will also be harmed the same extent from other smells like perfune, flowers, or insect bites….just more Blah, Blah, Blah…..

  4. aislander says:

    Busybodies everywhere…

  5. pazzo242 says:

    John–Have you not heard “A mans’ home is his castle”. This is more government control that is VERY unnecessary. I don’t smoke and I am a landlord but smoking in one’s home is their right to their “pursuit of happiness”. Public buildings are another case in themselves–your home is your domain—what is next? Where will the infringement end?

  6. SusanSan says:

    I just dont get it where someone thinks they have the right to choose what we do in our own homes. If I was doing something that going to harm my neighbors doing something illegal, then I woul understand. Non-Smokers have rally together to get smoking ban in all puplic places. But when they think they have the rigt to tell me that I can not smoke in my own home, they have cross the line. The person that sits there ans says that thier neighbor smoking effects them needs to try to come up with a better story. I have been a smoker for years, and I have yet to walk into my neighbors home and smell my smoke. If this law passes, then smokers would have to quit or be homeless??? When and I mean when did I lose the right to choose to smoke??? I have followed all the laws passed on banning smoke in public places. I have tried hard to make sure I am repectful of not offening anyonethat not smoke with my smoking. But I will not sit by and let some non smoker tell me what I can do in my own home. As for landlords not liking a smoker in their homes, they already have the right to not rent to smokers. I dont think we or the goverment have the right to tell them that they cant rent to smokers. The last time I looked I was an adult not a child.

  7. surething says:

    Murigen is right on the money. I have lived next to families that cook “ethnic” foods that emit odors that could gag a maggot.

    Or one of my neighbors whose door was directly across from mine that smelled like 1000 cats had urinated in their home, leaving me unable to leave my front door open.

    I was forced to deal with it, because it is their home.

  8. The word is “fascism”.The title of the writer’s letter should be ” fascist neighbors should be declared a nuisance”.

  9. sdjweinman says:

    The landlord should have the choice to set up their building as they choose… then the tenant’s can pick smoke free or not… it should not be mandated by health department regulation or Landlord Tenant laws. It is IMPOSSIBLE to legally enforce this type of regulation under existing landlord tenant laws and notice requirements. I have written a long letter to the Board of Health explaining this… hopefully someone will wake up and actually read the letter before they start making unenforceable rules and regulations.

    I applaud the owner of the Truaire for being smoke free and being successful… My point exactly is that tenant’s should be able to choose where they live. Imposing new regulations on exisiting communities that are not voluntarily smoke-free is WRONG!

  10. spyacoach says:

    Really,,,, we DO need to quite simply, banish tobacco in all it’s forms. It’s a nuisance for sure and a Black Eye on the American public.

    Oh,, by the way? Let’s legalize Marijuana, in ALL it’s forms, because well,,,, we’ve been unsuccessful in enforcing laws against it and we might just as well tax it and be done with the “Issue”.

    Certainly the neighbors won’t mind THAT smell and since it’s not tobacco, it must not have the Second Hand Dangers or the “Nuisance Odors”.


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