Public Health fully supports smoke-free housing units in apartment buildings, co-ops and condominiums. Smoke-free indoor environments protect the health of occupants, especially children, from exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke.
The Smoke-Free Ontario Act (SFOA) prohibits smoking in the common areas of multi-unit dwellings. This includes:
- stairwells and hallways
- parking garages
- laundry facilities
- exercise areas
- party or entertainment rooms
What are the benefits of smoke-free housing?
Living in smoke-free property:
- reduces your exposure to second hand smoke
- may help you or a family member quit smoking
- reduces your risk for some chronic diseases
- lowers the levels of tobacco toxins and nicotine
What are the dangers of second-hand smoke?
- second-hand smoke has been linked to many cancers, breathing problems, heart disease, stroke, pregnancy complications and sudden infant death syndrome
- second-hand smoke creates the highest risk for children, pregnant women, seniors, people living with chronic health problems and pets
What can landlords do to prohibit smoking?
In Ontario, landlords and condominium boards have the legal right to designate specific apartment units or pass a bylaw making the entire building smoke-free. There is ample evidence that deeming a property smoke-free creates health, safety, and economic benefits, such as:
- turnover costs for smoker units are roughly 2-3 times higher (about $800 per unit) than smoke-free units
- smoke-free units have higher resale value than smoking units, by up to 29%
- landlords who implement smoke-free policies may be eligible for reduced insurance premiums
What can tenants do to protect their health?
Tenants are well within their right to request that their landlord or condo board exercise their legal authority to ban smoking within the building in which they live. For more information, please see the related links below.