Each June, National Healthy Homes Month aims to increase awareness of housing-related health hazards and to encourage residents to take actions and steps to make their homes safe and healthy living spaces.

One important step is to eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke.  While a large majority of New Yorkers have a “no smoking in the house” rule, for residents living in multi-unit housing, the air they breathe at home depends not only on their own rule but the rule in the entire building.  That’s because secondhand smoke, whether from tobacco, marijuana or any other smoked substance, travels easily from unit to unit through doorways, electrical lines, plumbing and ventilation systems. 

Secondhand smoke can have serious health consequences for apartment dwellers, including more frequent and severe asthma attacks, respiratory infections, heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer.  There is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke.

The best way to protect tenants from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke exposure is to create a 100% smoke-free policy that applies to all units and common areas.  The reason is simple: everyone deserves to breathe smoke-free air at home. 

If you live in an apartment or condo without a smoke-free policy, ask your landlord or condo board to consider going smoke-free.  If you own multi-unit housing, contact us for free assistance and signage at ClearTheAir@SmokeFreeCapital.org

To find a partial listing of smoke-free apartments and condos in the Capital Region, check out the New York State Smoke-Free Housing Registry.