New Orleans, LA – Local real estate developer The Domain Companies has announced that they will be the first major apartment owner in Louisiana to go completely smoke-free across its entire rental portfolio. This announcement comes as the city of New Orleans recognizes “Smoke- Free Week” from July 21-25, a health initiative from the Healthier Air for All campaign and Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell’s office to raise awareness on the risks of secondhand smoke exposure.
The smoke-free policy applies to Domain’s Louisiana portfolio of approximately 1,000 apartments owned and managed in both New Orleans and Baton Rouge, with 700 additional units in various stages of planning or development. These properties include luxury, mixed- income, and affordable housing. The policy prohibits smoking in all apartments and indoor/outdoor amenity areas.
“Domain is committed to improving the health and well-being of our residents and creating sustainable developments that improve lives and livelihoods,” said Matt Schwartz, Co-Founder of The Domain Companies. “We believe that the vast majority of renters desire smoke-free living, and that these renters have the right to a healthier home and smoke-free air.”
According to statistics provided by the Healthier Air for All campaign, the majority of Louisianans (79%) do not smoke, and smoke-free policies encourage people to smoke less, can help smokers quit, and of course greatly reduce secondhand smoke exposure. Tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals and compounds, including hundreds that are toxic and at least 69 that cause cancer. Breathing 30 minutes of secondhand smoke has the same effect as smoking a cigarette, and regular secondhand smoke exposure can increase a non-smoker’s risk of heart disease by as much as 60%.
“I have made a solemn pledge to join the Smoke-Free Louisiana movement,” said Councilwoman Cantrell, who also serves as chair of the New Orleans City Council Community Development Committee. “The quality of life for our citizens is of the utmost priority, and this is just the first step towards improving that. Knowing the health disparities that exist in our community and understanding the causes and effects of secondhand smoke, I am in full support of this initiative and I hope to see community members join me in this effort.”
Properties instituting Domain’s smoke-free policy include apartments at The Paramount, the 209-unit development located in the South Market District in downtown New Orleans, which will commence lease-up this summer. In addition to increasing the comfort of the residents, the policy is also intended to make all Domain buildings safer by reducing the risk of fire. Domain’s smoke-free policy is also being implemented across Domain’s portfolio throughout New York City and State, making these properties eligible for the American Cancer Society’s “Healthy High-Rise” designation.