Apartment buildings and condominiums that want to go "Smoke-Free" can now receive free help.

Manatee County Health Department has received a grant from the Florida Department of Health to help apartments and condos create smoke-free policies.

The first five apartments or condos to implement smoke-free policies will be featured in a local television commercial.

The grant will also allow the health department to provide free "smoke-free" signage, free marketing assistance, free technical assistance with policy and lease language, and access to free counseling and medicine for tenants who want to quit smoking.

"Smoke-free apartment and condo policies really are a win-win; improving tenants' health and decreasing owners' operating costs," says Megan Jourdan, Tobacco Prevention Program Manager for the Manatee County Health Department.

For apartment owners and managers, smoke-free policies lower turnover and clean-up costs, improve tenant health, and reduce fire risks and insurance costs. "A smoke-free policy can even be a great selling point," according to Jourdan, "as four out of five people in Manatee County do not smoke."

For more information, contact the Manatee County Health Department Tobacco Prevention Program at (941) 748-0747, extension 1211.