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In May, I will graduate from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, and I have enjoyed each year spent as a student and resident.

As a sophomore, I was excited to move off campus and finally get my own place. My apartment was a cheap but nice two bedroom apartment close to school.

The only problem I ever had with this apartment was that I could always smell cigarette smoke. I determined the smoke was entering my apartment from the piping system under the bathroom sink as well as from the bathroom fan. It really irritated me that although I never smoked a cigarette, I had no choice but to breathe in secondhand smoke in my very own living space. In addition, my clothing, bedding and entire apartment always smelled as if I had a party the night before.

In Wisconsin we have the right to have smoke-free workplaces, bars and hotel rooms; I cannot understand why we shouldn’t have the right to smoke-free homes.

Citizens living in multi-unit housing should have the right, regardless of income, to have a healthy environment to live with their families.

Smoke-free multi-unit housing also can benefit landlords by cutting down on cleaning costs, insurance premiums and the risk for fires.

I call on landlords to voluntarily adopt smoke-free policies for their rental properties. This will save money and ensure a healthy, comfortable living space for all tenants.

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