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Can't public housing have non-smoking units?

By Shirley A. Matheny, Annette Beckman


We recently sent the following letter to Senator Orrin Hatch about our dilemma and we would like Carbon County to hear our concerns as well by seeing what we sent to him.

Some of us who live in Carbon County Housing, would like you to look into getting us smoke free units to reside in.

We presently have 12 buildings with 4 apartment units in each building. The residents consist mostly of the elderly and handicapped, and are mixed with people who smoke and those who don't.

The smoke comes in the apartments of those who do not smoke. Is there a reason that we who are in ill health with heart trouble and breathing problems, most of whom are on oxygen, can't have, as the rest of the people in Utah have, clean smoke free apartments to live in. This smoke makes most of us ill while we live with these conditions.

Why can't there be designated smoking and non smoking buildings so we can be separated from the smoke and nicotine.

We can't understand why we who need smoke free units cannot have them as do other housing units, hospitals, restaurants, motels, and other public and non-public places? There are proposed bills/legislation banning smoke from parks, clubs, bars, and etc. and we cannot even live in a smoke free apartment which is our home.

Our director did tell me that she cannot do anything it terms of lobbying for this cause because it is part of her contract with HUD. So we are trying to work through Congress and promote legislation for others and ourselves to change this situation.

We hope people who smoke will realize that we think they have the same rights as we do. We are not against smokers; we just want a smoke free home for ourselves, so we would hope that they would fight with us for all, to have a place to be comfortable. Why should we in a place where there are 12 buildings not have the right to have four or five buildings smoke free.

On the other hand we think that government buildings and hospitals, places where people work, should have a comfortable warm room to smoke in. We don't think that they should have to go out into the cold.

This is America and we should all care for one another, smokers and non smokers. Everyone's rights should be taken into consideration.

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