Smoke-Free Housing


Smoke-Free Housing

  • In a smoke-free building, smoking is not allowed anywhere inside the building and is sometimes not allowed in outdoor areas.
  • A smoke-free policy helps residents stay healthy by reducing secondhand smoke and building owners save money by reducing cleaning costs.
  • In NYC, it is illegal to smoke in common areas in multi-unit buildings, and as of August 2018, multi-unit buildings must also have a policy on smoking. To learn more about smoke-free laws, visit and search smoking laws.

Secondhand Smoke

  • When someone exhales smoke from a tobacco product, another person can breathe in the smoke. This is called secondhand smoke.
  • Secondhand smoke increases the risk of asthma attacks, respiratory illnesses, stroke, heart disease and lung cancer in nonsmoking adults and children.
In New York City, 1 in 3 adult nonsmokers are exposed to secondhand smoke.1
  • Secondhand smoke can travel through cracks, ventilation systems and windows. An apartment can’t be fully smoke-free if the building isn’t.
“Exposure to Secondhand Smoke Among Nonsmokers in New York City in the Context of Recent Tobacco Control Policies: Current Status, Changes Over the Past Decade, and National Comparisons,”

Going Smoke-Free

  • Before requesting a smoke-free policy, write down when and where smoke enters your apartment. Include any effects secondhand smoke has on your health, especially if you have a disability, such as emphysema or lung cancer.
  • Ask your landlord or building manager:

To create a smoke-free
policy for your building

To fill cracks or
gaps between apartments

For another apartment
further from the source of
the secondhand smoke

Visit and search smoke-free housing for more information on how to go smoke-free.

Tips to Quit Smoking

Quitting smoking is one way to protect loved ones and neighbors from secondhand smoke, and to create a smoke-free environment. It can be hard to quit, but these tips can make quitting easier:

  • Decide why you want to quit.
  • Get support and encouragement: 1-866-NY-QUITS can help.
  • Prepare to quit: rid your home of lighters and throw out cigarettes.
  • Pick a quit date.

For more tips, visit and search NYC Quits.