It's a smart decision.
A smoke-free property protects your building from smoking-related damage. It makes it easier and less expensive to manage and maintain.
- Turnover rates for units that allow smoking in can be several thousand dollars more than non-smoking units
- Units that allow smoking can cost 2-7 times more to repair and maintain than non-smoking units
Some insurance companies offer discounts on insurance for smoke-free buildings. Ask your insurance carrier for more information.
Attracting & keeping tenants
Studies show there is high demand for smoke-free housing in Massachusetts.
- Smoke-free housing can increase tenant satisfaction and reduce tenant turnover
- One survey of Massachusetts tenants found that 92.4% thought a smoke-free policy was a good decision once in effect
Lower risk of legal liability
- Massachusetts law recognizes tenants' rights to safe and livable housing. Courts ruled that this includes tenants' right to protection from secondhand smoke in their housing
- smoke-free residences reduce requests for reasonable accommodation due to secondhand smoke exposure
- Smoke-free housing lowers the risk of lawsuits related to secondhand smoke
- The housing market in Boston and across the country is increasingly smoke-free
- A survey found that 99% of property owners who made their properties smoke-free thought they made a good decision
It benefits everyone
Most people spend more time at home than anywhere else. Children, the elderly, and those with chronic illnesses, are more vulnerable to the risks of indoor smoking.
- Smoking in the home is a leading cause of residential fires and residential fire deaths in the U.S.
- Risks are higher in buildings with large numbers of elderly or disabled residents who have mobility issues. These residents may not be able to escape from a fire
Fires caused by cigarettes and other smoking products cause property damage averaging $25,820-$27,600.
Secondhand smoke & health
Indoors, cigarette smoke travels to other apartments and can affect other tenants. Smoke moves through any opening including:
- ventilation and heating systems
- openings in lighting and plumbing fixtures
- electrical outlets
- under doors
Ventilation systems or opening windows can't remove secondhand smoke.
Secondhand smoke is dangerous to everyone's health:
- Secondhand smoke has 250 toxic gases and tiny particles, including 70 known to cause cancer
- The U.S. Surgeon General ruled there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke
- Children, the elderly, and those with chronic illnesses are at greatest risk
Repeated exposure to it causes greater health risks, including:
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Heart attacks
Learn more or download A Landlord's Guide to Smoke-Free Housing.
Find sample documents you can adapt and use.
Contact us at HealthyHomes@bphc.org or 617-534-4718 for free help and support with smoke-free housing, including: