Smoke Free Multi-Unit Housing

HUD Final Rule on Smoke Free Policy in Public Housing

On December 5, 2016, HUD published a final rule for each Public Housing Agency administering low-income, conventional public housing to initiate a smoke-free policy.  The effective date of the Rule is February 3, 2017, and it provides an 18-month implementation period.

Public Housing Authorities are mandated to implement and enforce a smoke free policy that  prohibits smoking inside public housing units and buildings, as well as prohibit smoking outside less than 25 feet from building, including entrances/exits.

Below are resources to help with implementing smoke free policies:

How Second Hand and Third Hand Smoke Effect Homes:

Second-Hand Smoke is the smoke that emanates from a lit burning cigarette, cigar or pipe.
Third Hand and or Environmental Tobacco Smoke is the residue left behind from tobacco smoke particles that settle on all surfaces.

apartmentTobacco smoke is invasive and travels throughout a building by seeping through doors, plumbing and electrical outlets, vents, lighting fixtures and windows. There is no known ventilation or air cleaning system that can eliminate all the toxins from this smoke.  Sealing outlets, cracks and other places where smoke   seeps through does not eliminate the smoke traveling from room to room or unit to unit. There is no safe amount of exposure to secondhand or thirdhand smoke.  Breathing even a little can be dangerous.

The only way to eliminate secondhand and thirdhand smoke from the building, room or home is to not allow smoking. There are no Federal or State laws preventing owners or landlords from banning smoking from the property. Smokers are not a protected class. Smoking bans in multi-unit housing and properties are cost effectiveMaintenance and repair costs are lower in non-smoking units and properties. 

To learn more about cost, click here on the Cost Impact Chart.

Smoke-Free Housing Tips:

  • Post a signs letting people know that the building is smoke free.
  • Do not allow people to smoke in your home.  Ask them to smoke outside at least 25-50 feet from the doorways, windows and vents to the home.
  • Do not allow smoking in your car or vehicle.
  • If you rent, ask your landlord or apartment manager to create smoke free policies for the building and grounds.    
Other Resources:
            CDC Going Smokefree Matters

                  HUD Toolkits for Smoke Free Multi Unit Housing
                  HUD Smoke Free Multi Unit Resource Bank

                     ChangLab Solutions Smoke Free Housing


Tobacco Control Program 860-509-8251