Letters to the Editor

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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 | 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.

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