Quincy landlords push for smoke-free complexes - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Quincy landlords push for smoke-free complexes

QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) - There's a new trend among Quincy landlords.  They're telling smokers to get out. 

A handful of apartment complexes in Quincy are going smoke-free to fight back against the effects of second-hand smoke.

Annie Myers, the property manager at Franklin Square Apartments, is converting her facility into a smoke-free establishment in December.

"We were one of the only facilities that our company owned that was not a smoke free facility," Myers said.

Myers says the fire hazards of smoking, along with the dangers of second hand smoke, were what ultimately led to her decision to make the complex smoke-free.
"The walls are razor thin, like any other apartment complex, but you can smell it if someone is a heavy smoker so that obviously affects other people," Myers said.

Myers isn't alone in her decision.       
WGEM talked with Austin Properties and Four Courts Apartments in Quincy, both have already gone smoke-free.
At Franklin Square apartments, smokers like Mary Brown say the bad habit nearly killed her. Brown says she's happy to see her apartment complex make a change.
"Even my brothers and sisters, when I was in the hospital, they said 'if you would have seen what the doctor told us Mary, you'd never light up another one," Brown said.

While other smokers like Linda Will aren't as thrilled.
"I've smoked for 50 years, we pay our own bills here," Will said. "So why should they be able to tell us what to do in our own home?"
However, Will says the latest move by her apartment complex does give her a reason to quit smoking.
"I've been wanting to quit for a while because of my health and my granddaughter's health. So, it's a good time I guess," Will said.

Another reason Myers is looking to go smoke-free is because of the cost. She says after a smoker moves out they have to re-paint and get new carpet, among other renovations, which could cost up to $2,500.

Health officials in Champaign, Illinois are helping landlords amend leases in an effort to ban smoking in all apartment complexes.
WGEM checked with Quincy officials, who say there is currently no plan for the city to implement a ban on smoking in apartment complexes.
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