Most people know that secondhand smoke is a serious health threat for both children and adults. There is no safe level of secondhand smoke exposure. For people who live in multi-unit housing properties such as apartment buildings and condominiums, a building- or property-wide smoke free policy is crucial to protecting everyone from secondhand smoke’s harmful effects. Learn about the effects of Secondhand Smoke.

Because people spend so much time in their homes, making multi-unit housing smoke-free plays an important role in reducing exposure to secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke from one unit or from a common area can migrate throughout the entire building by traveling through doorways, cracks in walls, electrical lines, plumbing, and ventilation systems. While residents can prohibit smoking in their own units, adopting a smoke-free policy for a multi-unit housing building or property will ensure that secondhand smoke does not threaten the lives and health of all residents. These policies also benefit property managers and owners by lowering fire risks and the associated insurance premiums and by reducing the amount of maintenance required before new tenants move in. Many people search for smoke-free apartments when searching for housing. Learn more about Smoke Free Housing.

Helpful Links

HUD’s Rule to Restrict Smoking in Public Housing: An Overview – On November 30, 2016, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced a final rule to restrict smoking in public housing. This fact sheet provides an overview of the rule’s smoking restrictions.

Implementing and Enforcing Smoke-Free Housing Policies – This video, from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), covers benefits and obstacles and how to address them. It presents tips to enforcing a policy and shows how a resident family of smokers adapted to the policy.