Tobacco Free Alachua launches smoke-free multi-unit housing certification program

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Smoke-Free Certification is a new voluntary certification available to rental complexes in Alachua County. Voluntary certifications allow objective parties to indicate organizations that go the extra mile to meet quality standards and benefit their stakeholders. Tobacco Free Alachua is highlighting local rental communities that show an outstanding commitment to the well-being of their residents. Certification is a concrete and visible way for rental communities show current and potential residents that they value clean living space and the health of their members.

Local and national research shows a huge demand for smoke-free housing.

  • A recent survey in Alachua County found that 84.4% of renters would choose smoke-free living over a property where smoking was allowed.1
  • An academic study conducted in Minnesota revealed that owners of apartment communities reported increased or maintained occupancy rates after implementing “smoke free” policies.
  • Despite concerns about alienating resident smokers, “most communities that have taken the leap consider smoke-free housing an edge over the competition and have determined that there is a market for this product,” says Chip Tatum, Government Affairs Director for the Florida Apartment Association. 3

The demand for smoke-free living is large and getting larger. Certification is the best way to for rental properties to appeal to this broad market, increase occupancy rates, and improve their community. Tell your landlord or management company today that you support smoke-free living.

Contact us today for more information about certification and its benefits or if your community is interested in becoming Smoke-Free Certified.

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Tobacco Free Alachua is a diverse community partnership comprised of county and city officials, private citizens, and representatives from the local school board, health care organizations, law enforcement agencies, higher education institutions, local businesses, non-profit organizations and more. It aims to develop and promote policies which reduce the use and effects of tobacco within Alachua County. The partnership was established in 2008 and is funded by grants through the Florida Department of Health and supported by the Alachua County Health Department. For more information, visit http://www.tobaccofreealachua.org or call 352-334-7914.

  1. Nackers, L. (2011). Assessment of tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke in Gainesville apartment complexes and condominiums. Unpublished manuscript.
  2. Hewett, M.J., Sandell, S.D., Anderson, J., & Niebuhr, M. (2007). Secondhand smoke in apartment buildings: Renter and owner or manager perspectives. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 9(S1), S39-S47.
  3. Boston, L. (2011, April). A Breath of Fresh Air. Units Magazine, 35(4). Retrieved from http://www.naahq.org.
Media Contact:  Andrew Romero, Tobacco Prevention Specialist
Tobacco Free Alachua, Alachua County Health Department
352-334-7914, Andrew_Romero@doh.state.fl.us

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