Residents living in non-smokefree multi-unit housing can be exposed to secondhand smoke through shared ventilation systems, as well as through air leaks in ceilings, floors, and walls.
- Secondhand smoke is a major health problem.
- Secondhand smoke cannot be contained.
If a smoke-free environment is important to you, click here to view the Clear Gains - Wisconsin's Smoke-Free housing Initiative.
Owners/ Managers Interested in Going Smoke-Free
Smoke-free housing is legal, popular, and profitable. According to the Health First Survey taken in 2013, 72% of renters living in buildings that allow smoking, but keep their own units smoke-free, would prefer non-smoking buildings. Results also revealed that 54% of renters are concerned that secondhand smoke from other units will affect their health. A smoke-free policy does not mean that someone who smokes cannot reside in a smoke-free building. It simply means that those who smoke will have to do so outside depending on their building’s policy. Besides being popular, smoke-free housing is profitable due to lower cleaning and renovation costs and decreased risk of fire damage. On average, it costs 2-3 times more to clean a unit that has been smoked in compared to one that hasn’t and the average residential smoking-related fire costs $20,000 in loss.
A smoke-free policy not only saves time and money but it also protects tenant’s health. Secondhand smoke is more than an annoyance, it is a health hazard. There is no safe level of exposure. Cigarette smoke contains hundreds of chemicals, toxins and cancer-causers that can coat surfaces and irritate the skin. Secondhand smoke cannot be contained, even when expensive measures are taken. Air leaks in ceilings, floors, and walls allow smoke to travel between units.
If you are interested in free resources and temporary promotional items for your smoke-free policy or would like to learn more about implementing a smoke-free housing policy, contact Sandy Bernier, Tobacco Control Program Coordinator for Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Marquette, Washington and Waushara Counties by calling 920-906-5537 or by visiting Clear Gains; Wisconsin’s smoke-free housing initiative website.
If you are a owner/manager of multi-unit housing and would like to see whether your residents are interested in your housing complex becoming smokefree, please see the resident letter/interest survey below.