Smoke-free Housing

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Smoke-free Housing

Managers and residents of multifamily buildings across the country are discovering the benefits of smoke-free housing.

A 100% smoke-free building is one where smoking tobacco products are prohibited everywhere. That means no smoking in individual apartments or common indoor and outdoor areas. Some smoke-free buildings may allow smoking only in a limited outdoor area.

Benefits

Everyone benefits from smoke-free housing:

  • For owners, there is less property damage and fewer turnover costs. Also, the lower risk of a fire can lead to savings on insurance.
  • For residents, the air is cleaner and healthier in their homes, as well as in common areas, such as hallways, lobbies and stairwells.

Smoke-free Housing in NYC

The first residential buildings in New York to adopt 100% no-smoking rules have opened their doors. Many residences are now considering this policy. A 2014 poll of city voters found that nearly 70% want to live in smoke-free housing. You can find a list of smoke-free buildings in the city through SmokeFreeHousingNY.

Smoke-free Housing in Other Cities

Smoke-free housing is popular in several major cities, including Los Angeles, Boston and Seattle, where tens of thousands of apartment units are now smoke-free.

Disclosure of Smoking Policies in Residential Buildings

Residential buildings with three or more residential units are required to create a policy on smoking and disclose it to tenants and prospective tenants.

Building owners are responsible for choosing how to enforce tenant violations.

Steps for Building Owners to Make a Building Smoke-free

  1. Decide the policy. Do you want the entire building and all common areas to be smoke-free, or just apartments and indoor areas? You can involve residents in the process, possibly through a survey. Note, rent-regulated apartments may have special rules.
  2. Educate residents. You must disclose your policy to all current and prospective tenants, either in writing or by posting the policy in a prominent location in the building. This notice should include:
    • Policy details
    • Benefits of the rule
    • Effective date
    • Resources for quitting smoking
  3. Add the rule to leases. You should add the policy to all new leases. The policy will not apply to current rental tenants until they sign a new lease.
  4. Enforce the rule. You should post signs, remove ashtrays and smoking litter, and start discussing the rule to current and prospective tenants.

For questions about smoke-free housing, email smokefree.housing@health.nyc.gov.

Additional Resources

More Information