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Tobacco Free Environments: Multi-Unit Dwellings

Second-hand smoke can get into an apartment or condominium unit through shared vents and openings. It can also drift under doors and through cracks and air leaks around electrical outlets, plumbing and windows. You can help reduce second-hand smoke in your apartment or condo by installing special seals in electrical outlets. These are available at hardware stores. You can also install door sweeps and seal cracks around vents and windows with foam insulation to prevent smoke from entering your unit. 

There are many advantages for landlords to implementing a smoke-free policy in their building for their tenants. Doings so is not only healthy, but also economical:

  • Cleaning and repair costs are lower;
  • Risk of fire is diminished;
  • Fewer litigation and human rights complaints; and 
  • Less time spent by property managers addressing complaints of second-hand smoke.

Talk to your neighbours, landlord or condo association and work with them to reduce second-hand smoke.

Legislation in New Brunswick 

Smoke-free Places Act

New Brunswick’s Smoke-Free Places Act is the piece of legislation that prohibits smoking in a variety of public indoor and outdoor spaces. Since July 2015, it is now prohibited to smoke within 9m of:

  • a door
  • an air intake or 
  • a window 

of an enclosed public place or an indoor workplace.

Since September 15, 2017, peace officers and inspectors are able to issue tickets to individuals who smoke in public places where smoking is banned. Violations can be reported at 1-866-234-4234. You can also learn more about the Smoke-Free Places Act here

Note that smoking is permitted on private property and in private residences, UNLESS the residence is a multi-unit residential building, in which case the 9m zone from a door, air intake or window must be respected. 

The entirety of the rental unit that a tenant has paid for and has exclusive access to, including the patio, is considered private property and is therefore exempt from the restricted zones. 

It is up to landlords to decide whether or not they want their building to be 100% smoke-free, inform their tenants and enforce their smoke-free policy. 

Tenants ca talk to their landlords about the advantages of instating a smoke-free policy in their buildings. They can also also choose to rent only from landlords who are proactive and have such a policy in place. 


Facts and Statistics - Second-Hand and Third-Hand Smoke:

Facts on Second-Hand Smoke in Condos and Apartments
Fact sheet for landlords produced by the BC Lung Association and the Heart & Stroke Foundation. 

Second-Hand Smoke in Multi-Unit Dwellings
Produced by the Non-Smokers’ Rights Association. 

Second-Hand Smoke in Multi-unit Dwellings: Literature Review, Spring 2010
Produced by the Non-Smokers’ Rights Association and Health Action Foundation

Tobacco-Free Environments: Homes
You will find many links to statistics and facts on the dangers of second-hand and third-hand smoke on our Tobacco-Free Environments: Homes page.  

Smoke-Free Housing Month
An infographic prepared by the NBATC

Smoke-Free Housing Month: Second-Hand Smoke and Children
An infographic prepared by the NBATC


Making multi-unit dwellings smoke-free:

Make your Home Smoke-free in a Multi-Unit Residence – Health Canada
Like most Canadians today, you are likely already protected from second-hand smoke in public places. You may also not allow smoking in your home and car. However, if you live in a multi-unit residence, you may still be exposed to tobacco smoke entering your home from neighbouring units. This guide is intended to help you protect your family from second-hand smoke in a multi-unit dwelling.

Smoke-Free Housing Canada

Canadian PUSH for Smoke-Free Housing

Smoke-free Policies Make Good Dollars and Sense: The Business Case for Smoke-free Multi-unit Housing
Produced by the Non-Smokers’ Rights Association

Smoke-Free Housing BC

Smoke-Free Housing Ontario

PROPEL Centre for Population Health Impact: Waterloo Region Smoke-Free Community Housing Video

The Development of a Smoke-Free Housing Policy in the Region of Waterloo

Smoke-Free Nova Scotia Multi-Unit Dwellings Study, July 2008