Ohio grandmother chooses to move rather than quit smoking

Beulah Toombs is leaving her place in the AHEPA 127 Apartments after the building went smoke-free.

By Evan Bleier
An elderly woman smokes a cigarette. (Stephen Shaver/UPI)
An elderly woman smokes a cigarette. (Stephen Shaver/UPI) | License Photo

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MILFORD, Ohio, April 22 (UPI) -- An 89-year-old Ohio grandmother has decided that she would rather give up her apartment than give up cigarettes.

Beulah Toombs was given the opportunity to quit smoking when her apartment building in Milford went smoke-free a little more than a year ago. Toombs continued smoking in her unit at the AHEPA 127 Apartments and was labeled as “non-compliant.”


Management asked her to quit one more time -- Toombs declined. “I don’t think so,” she said in an interview with “This is my home, and I think you can do whatever you want to in your home.”

Residents at AHEPA 127 are low-income seniors who pay discounted rent under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Section 202.

“My mom is getting older, and this is causing her so much stress,” said daughter Mary Ann Burgoyne. “She kept telling me that she was paying her rent. She was a little confused. She thought they might put her in a debtors prison.”

Burgoyne attempted to enlist a senior-advocacy group to help her mother, but was told this was “the future” and that Toombs should quit smoking.


Toombs will be clearing out of the building in the next week or so.

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