Spokane Regional Health District works with local businesses, employers, landlords, colleges, and universities to create smoke and tobacco-free communities.
Secondhand smoke is smoke from burning tobacco products, such as cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. It is also smoke that has been exhaled, or breathed out, by the person smoking.
Secondhand smoke can cause harm to exposed children and adults and may contain over 7,000 chemicals, including hundreds that are
toxic and about 70 of which can cause cancer.
Secondhand vapor is vapor from electronic vaping devices, such as e-cigarettes, that is exhaled, or breathed out, by the person vaping.
Evidence indicates that the vapor produced by vaping devices is not safe.
Vapor has been found to contain nicotine, heavy metals, ultrafine particulates,
toxic chemicals and cancer causing agents.
Thirdhand smoke and vapor is the residue of tobacco smoke or electronic vaping device vapor that accumulates on surfaces, textiles, and people after smoking or vaping has occurred.
Thirdhand smoke can cause harm to exposed children and adults. Residue builds up on surfaces over time and resists normal cleaning. Thirdhand smoke can't be eliminated by airing out rooms, opening windows, using fans or air conditioners, or confining smoking to only certain areas of a home. The only way to protect against thirdhand smoke is to create a smoke-free environment.
All residents have a right to clean, smoke-free air. Unfortunately, people who live in multi-unit housing are commonly exposed to secondhand smoke (SHS).
SHS is a mixture of side stream smoke from the tip of the cigarette and mainstream smoke exhaled by the smoker. Secondhand smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, 250 of which are known to be harmful and more than 50 are known to cause cancer. There is no safe level of secondhand smoke exposure.
Implementing a smoke-free policy in multi-unit housing properties is the only effective way to eliminate the health risks associated with exposure to secondhand smoke. There are many benefits to housing providers for implementing smoke-free policies. Benefits include:
Are you a property owner and considering a smoke-free policy on your property?
Spokane Regional Health District may be able to help. Staff can assist property managers in surveying tenants and staff for the best policy option and can help process survey results. Staff can also help by providing technical assistance and support along the way.
The health district offers $250 grants to help some housing providers implement a smoke free policy.
Do NOT allow smoking anywhere on the property.
Do NOT allow smoking inside individual units,balconies, patios, or any other place on the property.
Do NOT allow smoking inside individual units, balconies, patios, near windows, doors, or in common area.
But DO have a clearly identified designated area on the property for people to use for smoking.
If you are looking for an apartment, ask about smoke-free policies when you are searching for a place to live. Other questions to ask include:
If you are a tenant living in an apartment and are experiencing secondhand
smoke exposure, here are some resources that may be able to help:
People spend a lot of time at work. Policies in the workplace can help to promote health, including being tobacco free. Workplaces are required to comply with Washington State’s Smoking in Public Places Law (RCW 70.160) but additional steps can be taken to promote tobacco cessation and protect employees from secondhand smoke. The health district helps worksites develop and implement tobacco-free policies that are right for them.
Spokane Regional Health District provides worksites with a toolkit to help them determine the best policy for their industry and their employees. Staff can assist with choosing a policy, implementing a policy, and can provide resources for employees along the way. The toolkit is easy to use and can be found here: Smoke- and Tobacco-Free Worksites Toolkit
Employers implement smoke-free and tobacco-free policies for a variety of
reasons. Learn what some Spokane County businesses have done by reading these