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Saratoga group assists landlords looking to provide smoke-free facilities

Embury has 208 apartments with 230 people living in the facility, said Ferguson. All residents are 62 or older and only a handful smoke, she said. As part of going smoke-free, the complex, in conjunction with the Coalition and state Department of Health, is offering smoking cessation literature and programs to help seniors looking got kick the habit. Some have made good on the opportunity while others said they will continue to smoke but don't mind the facility going smoke free, said Ferguson.

"It's a position here that we support them (the tenants) the best we can. We know that the time is right for this, and the tide of public opinion is going in the other direction," she said.

For the first time in the complex's 36-year history, prospective tenants are asking if the facility is smoke-free. It is something the facility was never asked before, said Ferguson. And for some seniors and their families, it is becoming a deciding factor in where seniors are going to live.

The smoke-free complex is one of a long list of other senior living communities, from Glens Falls to Saratoga, that have also chosen to enact no-smoking policies, according to the Coalition.

Complex owners are finding that there is demand for smoke-free living not only because of health benefits, but because buildings are safer, cleaner and have more appeal.

Going smoke-free is also reducing the insurance bills of many of the complexes, said Stuchin.

Embury's official policy is no smoking in any public places, a long-standing policy. An outdoor smoking area has been designated away from the complex's main entrance, and once grandfathered tenants leave, those rooms will no longer allow smoking.

The Southern Adirondack Tobacco Free Coalition is asking all complex or property owners looking to go smoke free to contact Program Coordinator Jen Sheerer at 581-1230, extension 21.""

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