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Hastings and Prince Edward Public Health
no smoking sign on brick wall

Smoke-Free Housing

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:

  •     elevators
  •     stairwells and hallways
  •     parking garages
  •     laundry facilities
  •     lobbies
  •     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.

Other Links:

Need More Information About Smoke-Free Housing?

Call 613-966-5500 or 1-800-267-2803, ext. 600 or email us.

News, Research and Reports RELATED TO: Tobacco Retailers, Household Health, Injury Prevention

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We are gradually resuming in-person services at HPEPH by appointment only at this time.  Please review our Service Interruptions page for more information.

All program lines and the COVID-19 information line operate Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm (excluding statutory holidays).

To assist us with our efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, we ask anyone visiting the office for an appointment to:

  • bring a non-medical mask, physical distancing may not be possible during your appointment
  • maintain physical distance of at least 2 metres, both inside and outside the office
  • review symptoms of COVID-19, and reschedule your appointment if you have symptoms of the virus, or any other illness
  • reschedule your appointment if a family member or other close contact is ill
  • use accessible buttons to open doors, instead of handles
  • use hand sanitizer when entering and exiting the building

We have made additional changes to prevent the spread of COVID-19. If you are visiting our office for an appointment, you can be confident that we are:

  • increasing our cleaning, in alignment with heightened infection control protocols
  • considering alternatives to in-person appointments and meetings when possible
  • screening staff and visitors for symptoms of COVID-19
  • offering in-person services by appointment only to reduce traffic in office
  • ensuring staff wear masks and/or other protective equipment when seeing clients

Please continue to our website for more information about our programs and services.