Having a smoke-free policy is a growing trend in multi-family housing. Renters want it, owners like it, insurers respond to it, managers appreciate it, and maintenance staff are grateful for it.

To that end, Spokane Regional Health District’s Tobacco Prevention and Control program is excited to share a new, free resource for multi-unit housing providers who want to implement a smoking policy on their property. “A Step-by-Step Guide to Smoke-free Housing” is a toolkit designed to help property owners and managers decide on a smoke-free policy that is best for their property and their tenants. Using this toolkit, housing providers can learn how to:

  • Survey tenants on smoking prevalence and opinions on a policy
  • Implement a policy that prohibits smoking on the entire property or designates smoking areas
  • Provide tenants with local cessation resources to help them quit smoking

In addition to the perks for your business, smoke-free housing helps create a healthier community. Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of death, disease, and disability in the U.S. and is responsible for over 480,000 deaths each year. The health effects of exposure to second hand smoke are well documented and include heart disease, lung cancer, and stroke. In children, exposure to second hand smoke can cause ear infections, asthma attacks, respiratory problems, and can put children at a greater risk of sudden infant death syndrome.  Many people are exposed to second hand smoke in their own homes, particularly people who live in multi-unit housing where no smoke-free policy exists.

SRHD’s Tobacco Prevention and Control program is available to assist property owners and managers in using the enclosed toolkit and can help with surveying residents, deciding on a policy, and implementing a policy. The program also offers free lease addendums and signage options for posting in designated areas or on smoke free properties.

Questions about this toolkit and requests for technical assistance can be directed to SRHD’s Tobacco Prevention and Control Program by calling 509-324-1530 or by visiting srhd.org.