PAINTED POST, N.Y. (WETM) – One apartment complex in Painted Post announced that it’s gone completely smoke-free, saying it not only protects tenant health but also saves on physical damages to the building.

The Southern Tier Tobacco Awareness Coalition (STTAC) announced that Pine Tree Village Apartments off Forest Drive in Painted Post went fully smoke-free on February 1, 2023. According to the announcement, the policy went into effect for new tenants in August 2022, and existing tenants had six months “before the policy was fully implemented.”

STTAC Community Manager Chris Hawkins said that someone who recently left a senior living apartment caused over $30,000 in damages to the property because of smoking. As a result, Hawkins said all cabinets and carpets needed to be replaced because the walls and surfaces were reportedly “covered with black residue and tar from years and years of smoking in the apartment.”

The policy prohibits all use of cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars, vaping, etc. in the apartments, laundry rooms, common rooms (or any other part of the building), or on any part of the property outside.

“There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke,” STTAC said. “We know from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that even brief exposure can cause serious health problems and be deadly. There’s only one way to fully protect non-smokers from secondhand smoke exposure and that is by completely eliminating smoking”.

The announcement said Pine Tree Village Apartments is one of 800 multi-unit residences in New York to offer smoke-free living. In early January 2023, STTAC called on Chemung County landlords to also make their apartments smoke-free.