Survey Finds Majority Residents Are Happy with Guardian’s Year-Old Smoking Ban

By Anuradha Kher, Online News EditorPortland, Ore.–Guardian Management LLC, in conjunction with the Oregon Public Health Division, recently surveyed residents at 17 of its federally subsidized rental communities regarding its no-smoking policy and found a majority of the respondents are satisfied with the ban while also experiencing a reduction in second-hand-smoke exposure. Guardian introduced its no-smoking policy last year.Nearly three-quarters of all residents were very or somewhat happy with the no-smoking policy. Even among smokers, 30 percent felt the same way. The survey, which has 839 reponses, also found that the percentage of non-smokers who reported never being exposed to second-hand smoke in their apartments increased about 75 percent.  The percentage of non-smokers who reported never being exposed to second-hand smoke outdoors on porches, patios or balconies more than doubled. Among smokers in Guardian’s 17 communities, 43 percent reported smoking less tobacco since the policy’s implementation and nearly half of respondents who smoke reported making an attempt to stop smoking since Guardian enacted the policy. Two-thirds of those cited the policy as part of, or the main reason, for their attempt to quit. “The survey results are consistent with initial research that residents want the opportunity to live in smoke-free environments,” says Jim Wiard, vice president of Guardian. “We’ve also found that the policy not only improves the overall health of our residents, but we can also offer cleaner, better maintained apartments that provide more value for residents, owners and investors.”Colleen Hermann-Franzen, of the American Lung Association of Oregon, says, “The American Lung Association of Oregon commends Guardian Management for leading the way for property managers to protect the health of its tenants. The findings of this survey confirm that not only has Guardian’s smoke-free policy protected renters from the dangers of secondhand smoke, it has also effectively helped people quit smoking.” Guardian’s smoking ban, which is touted as the largest at rental properties in U.S. history, policy prohibits smoking inside apartment units and common areas, such as entryways, parking areas, patios and balconies, as well as within 25 ft. of any building on the properties.