Smoke-Free Multi-Unit Housing:

Start noticing the benefits of smoke-free homes

Start Noticing promotes smoke-free policies that protect people from secondhand smoke exposure:

  • We assist building owners and managers with creating and promoting a smoke-free policy for their property
  • We assist tenants in finding solutions to secondhand smoke problems

The Case for Smoke-Free homes

Why is secondhand smoke dangerous?

  • In 2005, 581 Minnesotan infants and adults died from exposure to secondhand smoke. (BlueCross BlueShield of MN)
  • Secondhand smoke can cause emphysema, asthma, pneumonia, lung cancer, chronic bronchitis and heart disease. (U.S. Centers for Disease Control)
  • According to the U.S. Surgeon General, there is NO risk-free level of secondhand smoke. (2006 Surgeon General’s Report)

Do people care about smoke-free living?

  • Nearly 50% of MN renters report smoke gets into their apartment from somewhere in the building.
  • 37% of those experiencing smoke say it bothers them “a lot” or “so much I’m thinking of moving.”
  • Almost 50% of MN renters would prefer to live in smoke-free units.
  • Many renters would be willing to pay more rent and walk farther to work if they could have the opportunity to live in a smoke-free building.

(Research by the Center for Energy and Environment (2001)

What are the benefits of smoke-free homes?

  • Reduced costs: Cleaning costs are lower when units don’t have the smell of smoke, cigarette burns, or smoking residue.
  • Fewer fire risks: Smoking-related fires are deadly and costly. Smoke-free policies eliminate the source of smoking-related fires.
  • Smoke-free policies are legal: A building owner/manager can legally make a rental building, including individual units or the entire property, 100% smoke-free.

Free Resources Available from Start Noticing:

  • Consultations and presentations to apartment managers and staff
  • Sample survey to send to tenants to gauge community interest
  • Model smoke-free lease addendum to incorporate into your current lease
  • Presentations to tenants tailored to your community’s needs
  • Summaries of research conducted by the Center for Energy and Environment about air movement and ventilation in apartment buildings
  • Secondhand smoke resources and information
  • Legal resources and information
  • Sample announcement letters to send to tenants
  • Free online listing in the MN directory of smoke-free apartments
  • Strategies for advertising your smoke-free building
  • Friendly and professional staff who will work with you every step of the way to ensure the best transition possible for your community

Download a list of smoke-free apartment buildings