Resources Library – Smoke-Free Environments – Apartments & Condos
Smoke-Free Environments – Apartments & Condos
Second-hand smoke can get into an apartment or condominium unit through shared vents and openings. It can drift under doors and through cracks and air leaks around electrical outlets, plumbing, and windows. (Source: Smoke-Free Housing BC)
In 2019, a Reseach & Co poll found that most Canadians are in favour of prohibiting residents of apartment buildings and condos from smoking. In the online survey of a representative national sample, seven-in-ten Canadians (72%) supported banning smoking (tobacco and marijuana) in multi-family buildings, while one-in-four (25%) were opposed.
In the United States, a national rule came into force on July 31, 2018, requiring ALL public housing to be 100% smoke-free. On this issue, Canada is behind the U.S.A. In the U.S.A., most public housing is nationally administered, whereas, in Canada, it is provincial/territorial or municipal. The New Brunswick Smoke-Free Places Act currently does not ban smoking inside public housing multi-unit dwelling buildings. Smoke-free policies for multi-unit dwelling buildings are, for now, up to landlords’ discretion.
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.
(Source: Smoke-Free Housing BC)
The New Brunswick Anti-Tobacco Coalition (NBATC) encourages New Brunswickers living in multi-unit dwellings to get informed, choose smoke-free buildings when possible, and work with their neighbours, landlord or condominium corporation to reduce second-hand smoke.
Encouraging and supporting the adoption of 100% smoke-free policies in rental properties and multi-unit dwellings has also been identified in New Brunswick’s Tobacco-Free Living Strategy (2019-2023) as one of the key objectives we can all work on to increase the number of 100% smoke-free spaces in the province. Contact us for help and support!
Legislation & Policies
The New Brunswick Smoke-Free Places Act is the piece of legislation that prohibits smoking and vaping (tobacco, cannabis, as well as all other substances) in a variety of public indoor and outdoor spaces.
Smoking and vaping are permitted on private property and in private residences (home) in New Brunswick, 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, this is quite hard to enforce regarding multi-unit dwellings, since the entirety of rental units that tenants pay for and have exclusive access to, including the patio, are considered private property and exempt from the restricted no-smoking/no-vaping 9m zones. Furthermore, the New Brunswick Cannabis Control Act allows smoking and vaping cannabis in private dwellings.
It is thus up to landlords to decide whether they want their entire multi-unit 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.
See our Smoke-Free Environments page for more information on legislation.
Reporting Smoking and Vaping Violations
See our Smoke-Free Environments page.
See our Smoke-Free Environments page for information on signage requirements, as well as downloadable signs and templates.
Dangers of Exposure to Second and Third-Hand Smoke
See our Smoke-Free Environments page for information on the importance of smoke-free environments and the dangers of second and third-hand smoke.
Of particular interest:
Resources and Tips – Smoke-Free Multi-Unit Dwellings
See our Smoke-Free Environments- Homes page for additional resources.
There are also many educational resources on the health risks of smoking and vaping in the Prevention menu of our Resources Library.
For help to quit smoking or to support a loved one on their quit smoking journey, visit our Quit Smoking menu.
Are you a landlord, concerned tenant, community leader, health care professional or policymaker? Recommended resources to consult are listed on our Smoke-Free Environments page for you to learn more about:
- statistics on smoking rates and exposure to second-hand and third-hand smoke;
- public health information on smoking and vaping; and
- aligning your efforts with those already underway nationally and provincially.