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Smoking: a bane to real estate health

real estate, smoking, real estate health, smoking and real estate

This may seem like a far-fetched claim, a shot to the moon or whatever metaphor you can think of, but yes, lighting that harmful tobacco roll is like hanging a sign that says: “My house stinks!”. And you are planning to sell it.

While this may sound a novel concept to the Philippine real estate market; in the US, real estate agents have been singing a different tune for quite some time now. Back in 2004, New York Times ran a story about brokers having a difficult time selling houses and condominium units that reek of tobacco smoke. Home buyers are easily turned off by the slightest hint of its smell. And it doesn't matter if the buyer is a smoker or not, the story says prospective home buyers may not know exactly what a healthy home is but they do know what an “unhealthy environment” smells like.

The American Lung Association (ALA), which has been warning the American people for more than 50 years on the dangers of smoking, quickly picked up the media byte and used it to push their long-standing campaign. Health House, an indoor air-quality program of ALA for the past 13 years, has suddenly enjoyed attention from real estate publications. From then on, a new breed of better informed and health-conscious home buyers have emerged. Real estate brokers have since been getting the flack from their clients for showing them living spaces that can rival a crowded bar in downtown New York.

The Health House program has an online presence at where site visitors can get tip sheets and workbooks on how to achieve good quality air inside their homes. The program consultants are in constant collaboration with homeowners and homebuilders regarding design, construction, renovation and operation focusing on providing healthy indoor air quality.

Stephen Klossner, a consultant for the Health House program, observes that molds and insects have been the usual suspects and media are quick to inflame the stories. What the public doesn't realize, Klossner enthuses, is that compared to tobacco smoke, mold and insect infestation pose a relatively mild health risk. Secondhand tobacco smoke contains 4,000 chemicals, 200 of these are known poisons while some 50 are considered cancer-causing agents.

With the current quagmire that the US real estate market is in, this is certainly not something it needs. To add this tobacco rut to the scalding cauldron is concocting a recipe for disaster. Our local real estate market should learn from this American experience and spare our brown noses of that awful smell. Filipinos are fast turning
Published: 2007-12-10
Author: Royce Ambrocio

About the author or the publisher
The author has been writing professionally for 10 years now across various industries: TV, print, advertising, and online commerce. He has done scripts for TV, feature articles in magazines and newspapers and copywriting for consumer, tranport and service companies.

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