What are the advantages of making my rental properties smokefree?

Thirdhand smoke is the chemical residue from tobacco smoke. It is also called “tobacco smoke residue” or “stale tobacco smoke.” The chemicals in thirdhand smoke are toxic to humans, especially children. It can linger for years in dust and on household surfaces. It can also become embedded in carpets, furniture, clothes, and building materials. It is difficult and expensive to remove.

Much of the public knows that secondhand smoke is bad for your health. Smokefree rental properties are in high demand. Surveys show that most renters prefer 100% smokefree properties. 

Smokefree rental properties save money:

  • Reduce the risk of tobacco-related fires in your apartments.
  • Lower fire and liability insurance premiums for the property.
  • Avoid the need for expensive smoking-related repairs when tenants move out.
  • Reduce litter from tobacco waste, such as cigarette butts.
  • Fewer complaints about unpleasant odors and unhealthy air because of smoke intrusion.
  • Lower administrative costs to address

Smokefree rental properties save lives and protect the health of you:

  • Secondhand smoke drifts into apartments from other apartments or from outside.
  • In children, secondhand smoke causes diseases like asthma, ear infections, and colds.
  • In adults, secondhand smoke causes lung disease, heart disease, and cancer.
  • Thirdhand smoke embeds into walls and on surfaces, emitting toxic compounds long after secondhand smoke has disappeared.
  • After a smoker moves out, the toxic residue of thirdhand smoke remains, creating a health hazard for new tenants.

Save money, save lives. Make your property smokefree.

Do you have more questions about the toxic legacy of tobacco smoke, how it affects human health, and what we can do about it? Learn more here.

Updated: January 2023


American Lung Association. Smokefree housing: Renter poll. Retrieved January 10, 2020 from https://center4tobaccopolicy.org/tobacco-policy/smokefree-multi-unit-housing/smokefree-housing-renter-poll/

King BA, Babb SD, Tynan MA, Gerzoff MS. National and state estimates of secondhand smoke infiltration among U.S. multiunit housing residents. Nicotine Tob Res. 2013;15(7):1316-1321.  

Licht AS, King BA, Travers MJ, Rivard C, Hyland AJ. Attitudes, experiences, and acceptance of smoke-free policies among US multiunit housing residents. AJPH. 2012;102(10): 1868-1871.

Matt GE, Quintana PJ, Zakarian JM, Fortmann AL, Chatfield DA, Hoh E, Uribe AM, Hovell MF. When smokers move out and non-smokers move in: residential thirdhand smoke pollution and exposure. Tob Control. 2011;20(1):e1.

Ong MK, Diamant AL, Zhou Q, Park H-Y, Kaplan R. Estimates of smoking-related property costs in California multiunit housing. AJPH. 2012;102(3):490-493.

Toy P, Yount C, Meng Y, Zou W, Ventura J, Do H, Pourat N. Health at risk: Policies are needed to end cigarette, marijuana, and e-cigarette secondhand smoke in multi-unit housing in Los Angeles. National Library of Medicine. 2020.

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