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Tobacco Free Environments: Multi-Unit Dwellings

Protect Yourself from Second and Third-Hand Smoke!

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 and vaping (tobacco, cannabis, as well as any substance that produces smoke and second-hand smoke) in a variety of public indoor and outdoor spaces. 

Smoking and vaping are permitted on private property and in private residences (home), UNLESS the residence is a multi-unit residential building, in which case, it is prohibited by law to smoke and vape within 9m from doors, air intakes and windows. 

HOWEVER, 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 no-smoking/no-vaping zones. 

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

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

A toll-free number is provided to report violations of the Smoke-Free Places Act and to obtain additional information on this legislation: 1-866-234-4234. 

Cannabis Control Act
New Brunswick's Cannabis Control Act controls the consumption and use of recreational cannabis. It establishes the legal age for the purchase, consumption and cultivation of recreational cannabis at 19 and outlines general restrictions on consumption and possession. Under the Cannabis Control Act, the only legal place to consume cannabis in New Brunswick is in a private dwelling or in the land adjacent to the private dwelling (home or backyard). Consuming cannabis in public is prohibited. It is also illegal to consume cannabis in a vehicle and to drive under the influence of cannabis. 

Complaints concerning cannabis should be directed to local police. 

Reporting Smoking and Vaping Violations in New Brunswick

Smoking and/or vaping tobacco, cannabis, and any other substance in public places that are designated as smoke-free by the Smoke-Free Places Act can be reported to the Smoke-Free Places Act Information Line. The Smoke-Free Places Act Information Line toll-free number is 1-866-234-4234.
 
For other complaints concerning cannabis, such as smoking it in a public place that is not already designated as smoke-free, or illegal sale or possession of cannabis, New Brunswickers are instructed to contact their local police detachment. 
 
More information here. 

Resources

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

Smoke-Free Housing Month (2016)
An infographic prepared by the NBATC

Smoke-Free Housing Month: Second-Hand Smoke and Children (2016)
An infographic prepared by the NBATC
(*Sources: 2013 Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey (CTADS)New Brunswick Anti-Tobacco Coalition - Susceptibility to Smoking Amongst Youth in New BrunswickHealth Canada - Dangers of Second-Hand SmokePediatrics - School Absenteeism Amongst Children Who Live With Smokers.)

Multi-Unit Dwellings and Second-Hand Smoke (2016)
An infographic prepared by the NBATC 

What Is Third-Hand Smoke? (2016)
An infographic prepared by the NBATC 
(PDF FormatPNG Format)

Third-Hand Smoke (2017)
An infographic prepared by the NBATC 
(PDF FormatPNG format)

Second-Hand Smoke Affects Them Too. Your Beloved Pet is Another Reason to Live Tobacco-Free! (2017)
(PDF formatPNG format)
An infographic prepared by the NBATC 

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.  


Making multi-unit dwellings smoke-free:

In the United States, a national rule came into force on July 31, 2018 requiring public housing to be 100% smoke-free.  In the U.S.A., most public housing is nationally administered, whereas in Canada it is provincial/territorial or municipal. Learn more about this new rule in the U.S.A. 
 
On this issue, Canada is far behind the U.S.A. In Canada, 100% smoke-free policies have been adopted by Saskatchewan and the Yukon Territory, St. John’s (Nfld) and the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville (Ont). Toronto Community Housing, which administers social housing in Toronto, also announced recently that it is going to require all new tenants to have smoke-free provisions, including cannabis, in their leases, with plans to ultimately go 100% smoke-free. Learn more

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

Live Free of Second-Hand Smoke - Tips for Home, Your Car, Work and Outdoors - Canadian Cancer Society (2014)