TobaccoFreeUtah.org
smoke-free housing

Residents and Smoke-Free Multi-Unit Housing

Are you being bothered by secondhand smoke (SHS) drifting into your unit from a neighboring unit, the hallway or outdoors? Secondhand smoke may seep from one unit to another through cracks and crevices, or travel by a shared ventilation system and enter into the living space of another. Secondhand smoke not only causes discomfort and annoyance, it is a serious health hazard.

Air filtration and similar types of other ventilation systems do not eliminate the health hazards caused by SHS. As a resident, you have the right to live in an environment that is free from the health risks associated with being exposed to SHS. One solution is to advocate for smoke-free policies at your apartment or condominium community. Residents who are negatively affected by SHS may have the right to seek legal action against those who do not make adequate provisions to protect them from the harmful effects of SHS.

Here are some important things you should know:

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Smoke-free policies in apartments and condominiums are permitted under federal and Utah law.

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Smokers are not a protected legal class, e.g., there is no "right to smoke" under U.S. law.

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Non-smokers with serious breathing disabilities or smoke allergies may have legal protection under the American with Disabilities Act and the Fair Housing Act. Consult a doctor to have your condition documented if secondhand smoke affects your ability to breathe.


Many landlords may not be aware that SHS is a problem in their buildings, so your first step is to let them know about it. Please let them know about the landlord section of this website where they will learn about the many benefits of a non-smoking policy. We are working with property managers/owners to encourage them to adopt smoke-free policies for their buildings.

If you are a renter, this website will provide useful tools that you can use to protect yourself from being exposed to SHS and live in a smoke-free environment. It will answer frequently asked questions, show you how to talk to your landlord, make temporary fixes, and help you find a smoke-free community.

 

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