Students drive smoke-free rental properties - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Students drive smoke-free rental properties

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - Research shows about 20% of adults in Wisconsin regularly smoke cigarettes, but those smokers may now have even more reason to quit.

Some La Crosse landlords are changing their policies to create a healthier living environment by going smoke-free.

The U.S. Surgeon General says there is no safe level of secondhand smoke, and that's one reason why Pointe West Investments newest apartment building will be smoke-free.

Jason Alberty of Pointe West Investments said, "Secondhand smoke permeates everywhere if you're smelling it, it's there, it's present and you're around it constantly if somebody is smoking in the building whether you know it or not."

Smoke-free means absolutely no smoking in or near the building. Pointe West just built a 40 unit apartment building on 9th and State Street in La Crosse. All 40 units will be smoke-free when they open June 1st.

Pointe West surveyed 200 tenants in its other properties asking what amenities are important to them. and a smoke-free facility was an overwhelming answer.

The company has four other properties that are smoke-free. They aren't the only local company making the switch. Three Sixty Real Estate Solutions also made some of their apartments smoke-free.

The La Crosse County Health Department has helped these companies make the switch. Paula Silha, Health Education Manager, said "We've made a lot of progress in the last several years."

The county received a grant to help educate landlords about smoke free living options. Silha said students are leading the trend that 80% of people want to live in a smoke-free facility whether they smoke or not.

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