Residents of Multi-Unit Housing Complexes

Going Smoke-Free Matters! If the complex that you live in doesn’t have a smoke-free policy, you may be inhaling another person’s secondhand smoke! The only truly effective way to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke in multi-unit housing is to create a 100% smoke-free policy on the premises and make sure it gets enforced.

Looking for a smoke-free home? Check out our list of properties with voluntary smoke-free policies – Smoke-Free MUH North County List

Benefits of Smoke-Free Multi-Unit Housing

A Smoke-Free policy protects you and your neighbors’ health and safety. Your neighbors may have children, be disabled, be elderly, and/or have a compromised immune systems. Lowering the amount of secondhand smoke a person is exposed to lowers the chance of acquiring respiratory problems or chronic illness associated with secondhand smoke and thirdhand smoke

Tips to Address Exposure of Secondhand Smoke in Multi-Unit Housing

  • Review Your Smoke-Free Policy. It’s important to know if your lease mentions if and where smoking is allowed. If a neighbor is violating the policy, inform your property manager. 
  • Talk to Your Neighbor who is Smoking. Your neighbor may not be aware their smoke is coming into you home. Share how and when the secondhand smoke is drifting into your unit and how it’s impacting the health of your household members. Request if they can smoke elsewhere.
  • Journal Occurrences. It’s important to document ALL occurrences of secondhand smoke drifting your home, conversations with neighbors and property manager and doctor visits.
  • Obtain a Doctor Letter. You can ask your healthcare provider to provide you a letter about how exposure to secondhand smoking impacts your health or the health of someone in your household. 
  • Request Property Manager or Owners to go Smoke-Free. There are local tobacco control programs that can provide your property manager free technical assistance to adopt a smoke-free policy. See Owners & Property Managers for more information.
  • Write a Letter to Local Policy Makers. It is important to educate and inform our policy makers of the pressing issues of secondhand smoke exposure in the community. This information will provide insight on potential smoke-free ordinances that can protect the health and quality of life of their communities at large. To find your policy maker, visit the San Diego County Register of Voters.

Additional Resources

Did we miss anything?  Here are a few more documents to help you navigate steps to go smoke-free.  

Helpful Websites

See below for other tobacco control organizations who can help you to go smoke-free. 

If you need personal assistance in what steps to make if your apartment is affected by secondhand smoke, contact Lorenzo Ricardez, Program Supervisor at [email protected] or 760-631-5000 ext 7166.

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