No Smoking Policy
Smoke-Free Grounds Policy
Punta Gorda Housing Authority is committed to protecting the health of our employees, tenants, and guests. The use of smoking tobacco products includes, but is not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and all electronic nicotine delivery systems (such as e-cigarettes, vaporizers, etc.) can lead to disease and death. Therefore, Punta Gorda Housing Authority is implementing this policy to prohibit the use of all smoking-tobacco products on all properties. Effective January 1, 2017, Punta Gorda Housing Authority will implement a Smoke-Free Grounds Policy for all employees, tenants, and visitors in order to provide a safe, healthy, and productive living environment.
Definition - Smoking is defined as inhaling, exhaling, breathing, or carrying any lighted cigar, cigarette, pipe, or other tobacco product or similar lighted product in any manner or form, including electronic nicotine delivery systems. The following facts are well established concerning smoking and/or secondhand smoke.
- Smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke (sometimes called environmental tobacco smoke) causes premature death from respiratory disease, cancer or heart disease.
- Smoking is the number one cause of preventable disease in the United States.
- According to the EPA, secondhand smoke exposure causes disease and premature death in children and adults who do not smoke.
- People with chronic diseases such as asthma or cardiovascular disease are particularly vulnerable to the effects of secondhand smoke.
- Secondhand smoke lingers in the air for hours after cigarettes have been extinguished and can migrate between units in multifamily buildings.
- Fires started by lighted tobacco products, principally cigarettes, constitute the leading cause of residential fire deaths.
Due to the health effects of secondhand smoke, the increased risk of fire, and the increased maintenance costs, the Punta Gorda Housing Authority has adopted a Smoke-Free Grounds Policy which prohibits smoking on ALL property owned by Punta Gorda Housing Authority and the removal of any designated smoking areas will be conducted. This policy applies to all tenants, guests, visitors, service personnel, and employees and will require anyone utilizing smoked-tobacco products or electronic nicotine devices to leave the premises. Tenants shall promptly notify the landlord in writing of any incident where tobacco smoke is migrating into the tenant's unit from sources outside the units.
Tenants are responsible for the actions of their household members, guests, and visitors. Visual observation of smoking is not necessary to substantiate a violation of the Smoke-Free Grounds Policy. For example, the presence of smoke, tobacco smoke odor, or some stains within a nit in combination with butts, ashtrays, or other smoking paraphernalia will be considered significant evidence of a policy violation.
Failure to adhere to the conditions of the Smoke-Free Policy will constitute a serious violation of the Lease. Violation of the policy will result in the following:
1st Occurrence - The first documented occurrence will result in a letter to the Head of Household concerning the failure to adhere to the policy.
2nd Occurrence - The second documented occurrence will result in a fine of $200.00 being assessed against the tenant to cover the cost of fumigating, repairing, or correcting damage caused by tobacco smoke.
3rd Occurrence - The third documented occurrence will result in the termination of the lease.
Landlord Disclaimer - The landlord's adoption of a Smoke-Free Ground Policy does not in any way change the standard of care the landlord has under applicable law to render the property safer, more habitable, or improved in terms of air quality standards. The landlord cannot and does not warranty or premise that the property will be free of secondhand smoke. The tenant acknowledges that the landlord's ability to police, monitor, or enforce the Smoke-Free Grounds Policy is dependent in significant part on voluntary compliance by tenants, visitors, guests, and employees. However, the landlord will take reasonable steps to enforce Smoke-Free Grounds Policy. Tenants with respiratory ailments, allergies, or any other physical or mental condition relating to smoke are put on notice that the landlord does not assume any higher duty of care to enforce this policy than any other landlord obligation under the lease.
Communication of Policy
All current and future tenants, as well as employees, will receive copies of the policy.
New tenants will be subject to the Smoke-Free Grounds Policy immediately, and current tenants living at Punta Gorda Housing Authority units will be subject to the Smoke-Free Grounds Policy starting January 1, 2017.
Support to end tobacco dependence includes:
- Over the phone: Call the toll-free Florida Quitline at 1.877.U.CAN.NOW
- Online: Enroll for the online Web Coach program at: www.tobaccofreeflorida.com/webcoach
- In person: Go to www.tobaccofreeflorida.com/ahec or call 1.877.848.6696 to register for face-to-face help in a group setting through Florida Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) Network