Smoke-free Housing Toolkit

Download RHA’s Smoke-free Housing Toolkit PDF.

Download RHA’s Smoke-free Housing Property Signs.


Everyone deserves to breathe clean air, especially at home.

In a multi-unit building, 35 to 65 percent of the air in any given unit is shared air from other units and common areas. No air ventilation system or air purifier can remove all of the toxins found in cigarette smoke, so residents are breathing in what their neighbors are breathing out.

Living in a building where smoking indoors is allowed increases the risk of heart attacks, stroke, lung cancer and early death. Babies who breathe secondhand smoke are more likely to die from SIDS (crib death), and children who are exposed to secondhand smoke have an increased risk of asthma attacks and infections caused by tobacco smoke, including bronchitis, pneumonia and ear infections.

Going smoke-free doesn’t mean that you prohibit smokers from living in your building; it simply means that smoking is not permitted in any indoor units or common areas. Implementing a smoke-free policy is an important way to encourage healthy living and ensure a safer living environment for your residents.

The market for smoke-free housing is growing. Renters are becoming increasingly aware of the dangerous health effects of smoking and secondhand smoke. Health-conscious and eco-friendly renters want to live in smoke-free buildings. A Respiratory Health Association poll of Chicago renters found that 44 percent were willing to pay more to live in a smoke-free environment.

This toolkit provides the information you need to start transitioning your property to smoke-free.

For more information, please contact Kelly Nichols, Senior Manager of Policy & Advocacy, via email at