Housing authority steps up smoking policy

HORNERSVILLE, MO - Residents in Hornersville won't be able to light up in public housing.

The Hornersville Housing Authority is stepping up the non-smoking policy to stop hazardous situations from happening due to smoke damage inside their homes.

According to Jessica Coleman, executive director of the Hornersville Housing Authority, the main purpose of the policy is to protect everyone's right to chose whether or not to smoke.

Coleman said they have several tenants who are allergic to smoke; and they also serve tenants who are on oxygen tanks.

"We do have a tenant who is on oxygen," she said. "If somebody flick a cigarette and it goes into her house, it could blow up. Also, our maintenance man doesn't need to be breathing smoke."

Coleman said the non-smoking policy was also enforced to protect the interiors of buildings from damage caused by smoking.

"There can be extensive damage done when they're smoking inside a unit," she said. "We had a unit that took us over a month to clean it up, because it has been smoked in for 20 years. Everything was just so dirty. So ruined. It took two coats of paint. And that's the kind of damage you can have."

However, Coleman said there are a variety of designated smoking areas on HHA property.

Tenant Pamela Davis said she smokes and understands the new policy.

"I don't smoke in my house so it doesn't bother me," she said.  "And this designated smoking area, it just helps for the children that's inside the homes and things like that...But, in my opinion, it's a great thing."

However, E-cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and electric wax warmers are excluded from the policy.

Coleman said if a tenant does smoke inside their homes it's a lease violation; followed by penalties and possible eviction. 

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