Murray, Ky. – A new Housing Authority of Murray policy puts a ban on smoking inside residential units effective Sept. 1. Among the reasons, Housing Authority Executive Director Faye Dodd cites the cost of rehabilitating units previously occupied by smokers, as well air quality.
"We have central heat and air. So in a duplex, you can have shared ductwork and the smoke transfers from one unit to the other. So if you have a duplex, one side has a smoker and the other side has someone with asthma or smoke allergy, that smoke is going into their apartment."
"Once the smoke has saturated that apartment, you have to sometimes replace appliances because they're saturated. You have to prime it two or three times. You have to paint. You have to remove the carpet... burn holes. It's just two or three times more expensive to turn the unit."
The agency prioritized the smoke-free measure after a smoking-related fire in May burned two units on Hurt Drive. According to the policy, people can smoke outdoors, but not inside. Residents can apply for an exemption allowing them to smoke in the apartments until the lease renewal. But after that, they'll have to follow the smoke-free policy. Three no-smoking violations will result in eviction.