Your apartment can't be smoke-free if your building isn't.

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Smoke-Free Housing

New Short Film

We All Share the Air is a 6-minute film about Smoke-Free NYCHA’s partnership with the NYC Health Department to provide public housing residents with free support to change their tobacco use, as well as education on NYCHA’s smoke-free policy.

  • Smoke-Free NYCHA creates healthier homes for residents and healthier working environments for employees by reducing exposure to secondhand smoke and providing support to residents and employees who smoke and want to quit or cut back.
  • To learn more about other tobacco treatment resources in NYC, visit NYC Quits.
  • Learn more about how to make your building smoke-free below.

A 100% smoke-free building is one where smoking and vaping anything (including tobacco and cannabis) is prohibited in individual apartments, as well as common indoor and outdoor areas. Some smoke-free buildings may allow smoking or vaping in a limited outdoor area.

You can find a list of smoke-free buildings in the city through SmokeFreeHousingNY.

Learn more about the Smoke-Free Air Act and how it affects housing by visiting the Fact Sheet for Tenants and Landlords of Residential Buildings.


Everyone benefits from smoke-free housing:

  • For owners, there is less property damage and lower turnover costs. A 2014 poll of city voters found that nearly 70% wanted to live in smoke-free housing.
  • For residents, the air is cleaner and healthier in their homes, as well as in common areas, such as hallways, lobbies, elevators, laundry rooms, and stairwells. Smoke-free policies can also help people quit smoking.

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. Tenants can ask their building owners to make their building smoke-free.

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, both indoors and outdoors, to be smoke-free, or just apartments and indoor areas? You can involve residents in the process, possibly through a survey, like this sample. (Note: New smoke-free policies do not apply to current tenants of rent-regulated apartments unless they agree to the policy.)
  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 treating smoking and vaping
  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 policy with current and prospective tenants.

Additional Resources

More Information