If smoking is permitted in multi-unit housing, secondhand smoke can infiltrate into neighboring units. Tobacco smoke can find its way through the smallest of openings, including through light fixtures, ceiling crawl spaces, electrical and plumbing fixtures, and gaps between walls. The only way to be completely protected from secondhand smoke in multi-unit housing is to prohibit smoking throughout the building. In addition to protecting residents from harmful secondhand smoke, smoke-free policies can also benefit landlords by reducing fire insurance costs, sharply cutting renovation costs after smokers move out, and eliminating any risk of liability for exposing tenants to secondhand smoke.
For more information about policies that may reduce exposure to secondhand smoke, see Creating Smoke Free Spaces: Policy Options to Reduce Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Tobacco Use in Vermont