Just five years ago, no one had even heard of smoke-free condo units, now there are more than 100,000 of them – at least in Michigan. The initiative to create more smoke-free units, MISmokeFreeApartment.org, claims that "the right to smoke is not protected under law, according to the opinions of the Michigan Attorney General and HUD (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development).
As long as the policy is not used to target a protected class or minority, a building manager is legally free to restrict or prohibit smoking in his or her building, on the group's site.
In just a few years, the group has been instrumental in public awareness across the state enabling landlords to start advertising smoke free (SF) units and newspapers to accept such advertising.
On top of the 100,000-plus units of SF market-rate apartments and condos in Michigan, their outreach has also culminated in:
- well over 20,000 units of SF "affordable" or subsidized multi-unit housing in Michigan
- 28 public housing commissions in Michigan having adopted SF policies
Newspapers now allowing "smoke-free" ads and some online apartment listings include SF icon In today's litigious society, the group explains on its site that many jurisdictions fear creating smoke-free zones, fearing charges of discrimination, however, a U.S. Housing and Urban Development Legal Counsel letter of 2003 states that "the right to smoke is not a right protected under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 because smokers are not a protected class under federal law."