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Renters and Smoke-Free Multi-Housing

Almost 50% of Minnesota renters say that secondhand smoke gets into their apartment from somewhere else. Of those experiencing secondhand smoke in their apartment, 37% say it bothers them "a lot" or "so much I'm thinking of moving."(1)

Even if no one in your home smokes and none of your guests smoke in your home, if you are a resident in a multi-unit building, secondhand smoke can still find its way into your home. Secondhand smoke can drift through:

  • Open windows and doorways
  • Shared air and heating vents
  • Electrical outlets
  • Cracks in plaster and sheet rock
  • Gaps around pipes and other structural openings

Live Smoke Free can help residents who are suffering from secondhand smoke exposure in their rental unit. We can provide you with strategies for how to talk to your neighbors and landlord about the problem. You can also learn about your legal rights to a smoke-free living environment. Though we caution that the only way to completely eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke is by having a smoke-free building, there are some quick fixes that you can try in order to get some temporary relief.

You can search our Smoke-Free Housing Directory to find smoke-free rental buildings all over Minnesota.

We encourage you to print and share our materials with your neighbors and landlord. You may also want to check out the landlords' section for information on how your landlord can adopt a smoke-free building. Contact Live Smoke Free if you have specific questions or if you would like to receive printed materials for your landlord or neighbors.

For Owner-Occupied Residents

If you live in a condominium, town home, co-op, common interest community, or other sort of owner-occupied unit, you may find much of our information useful. Information on secondhand smoke, research on smoke drift, and the benefits of smoke-free policies are similar for renters and unit-owners.

However, be aware that many legal issues and remedies are different for owner-occupied units and the legal information presented on this web site is for tenants in rented units. Live Smoke Free has recently completed research and developed fact sheets specifically for legal issues surrounding owner-occupied units. The Tobacco Control Legal Consortium has written Legal Options for Condominium Owners Exposed to Secondhand Smoke (opens as a pdf in new window).

Residents of owner-occupied units can contact Live Smoke Free to learn some strategies to creating a smoke-free building.