The Debate Rages On Establishing a Building-wide Smoking Ban

 Concern over health, the environment, and an evolving legal landscape has  prompted a number of condo and co-op boards in communities across New Jersey to  ban cigarette smoking not only in common outdoor areas but in individual units.  This restriction has ignited a heated debate over health/nuisance vs.  individual rights, and both sides can be vehement in advocating for their  position.  

 At the Governor’s two-day Conference on Housing and Economic Development in September 2011 at  the Atlantic City Convention Center, a wide-ranging group of speakers gathered  to address the benefits and challenges of enacting a smoke-free policy from the  perspectives of a nonprofit resource organization, housing ownership and  management.  

 Karen Blumenfeld, Esq., executive director, Global Advisors on Smokefree Policy  (GASP), Lynn Rosner, Health Education, Family Care Coordinator, and Tobacco  Dependence Specialist CTTS, Camden County Department of Health and Human  Services, and Steve Tancer, director of the property management group at RPM  Development Group in Montclair, were guest speakers on the panel ‘Smoke-Free Multifamily Buildings,’ to discuss what they believe is an emerging trend in housing in the Garden  State. Robert Sasso, director of property management at the New Jersey Housing  and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) acted as moderator.  

 “By and large everyone likes [building-wide smoking bans],” said Tancer. “It keeps the hallways cleaner and it smells better. There was virtually no  resistance.” He also pointed out numerous benefits for property managers of going smoke  free: lower maintenance costs because no one has to sweep up cigarette butts,  lower insurance costs, and faster turnaround times on available units due to  the fact smoke residue isn’t embedded in wall paint and carpet.  

 Nearly one third of RPM’s 25 properties are completely smoke-free, including buildings in Newark, Orange  and Somerset and two dozen public and private housing properties now prohibit  smoking in private areas throughout New Jersey, according to the Summit-based  GASP.  


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  • The problem is that you condesir yourself as a smoker not a non smoker . Don't know how long you've been addicted but it can be so hard to adjust to a non smoking attitude. I know so many people who have told me that its easy, just stop. Unfortunately some of us DON'T find it that easy. There is always an excuse to put off quitting. Try to look at your mental picture of yourself and see you without ciggies in different situations. Then think of ways you could cope/deal with things without the automatic reach for the packet.It may take a few weeks but give it a try. If you need support look at my profile and email me. I'm struggling too but finding i smoke less as i keep on with the above method. No longer terrified of being without and that is a good start.