2016-09-30 / Letters

Despite issues with smokers, they have rights

To the editor:

I think the South Portland Housing Authority believes it can stop its renters from smoking by prohibiting smoking anywhere on authority property and forcing its residents on to city streets, sidewalks and private property (inconvenience, shame, public humiliation?).

For an organization that does so much to provide well-managed, well maintained and affordable housing in South Portland, I find this prohibition heavy-handed and disrespectful of renters who often have no other option in a tight housing market.

While we all know the dangers associated with smoking, it is not illegal and smokers are not criminals. They don't deserve to be treated this way. I am hoping the housing authority will rethink this policy and make some accommodation.

The next meeting of the housing authority is at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28, 100 Waterman Drive. I'll be there because, even as a non-smoker, I think this policy is wrong.

Linda Boudreau South Portland

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