By now you should have a clear idea of what you want your smoke-free policy to include but keep in mind the questions below to ensure you don’t miss anything. There is also an example policy in our Resources.
In addition to residents, smoking should not be allowed by any resident tenant, or guest on the property where the rule is in effect. This would include all staff as well as any outside vendors that may come to the property.
“Smoking” should be defined broadly to ensure the policy is effective. You may define smoking as, inhaling, exhaling, breathing, or carrying any lighted or heated cigar, cigarette, or other tobacco product or similar lighted or heated product in any manner or in any form. This definition would include all e-cigarettes and other Electronic nicotine delivery devices (ENDS). Be sure to also define other key terms to ensure everyone has the same understanding.
Determine when the rule will become effective and include the date or timeframe in the rule.
Clearly indicate which areas are designated smoke-free. This could include common areas and individual units, indoors and out. You may define individual unit to include decks, patios, balconies, and other exclusive use outdoor areas attached to the unit.
This should include who is in charge of ensuring compliance and the consequences for an infraction. The best way to address this is to look at other policies your property might have such as a pet policy. A smoke-free policy should be looked at no differently.
Also consider including all tobacco products including E-cigarettes and ENDS products. This will make it easier to enforce and keep residents safe from these harmful products.Download Sample Lease Addenda Go to Next Step
It is important that you notify the residents of the changes and give them enough time to prepare or even quit using tobacco products if they want. Be willing to set up meetings with residents to discuss the reasoning for going smoke-free as well as what that will mean to them.
The following are a few examples of some timelines that you can use depending on the type of policy you draft. Please feel free to reach out to Smoke-free Housing Indiana for assistance with any steps in this process.
Below are two different timeline strategies, the 60 Day Notice Timeline and the Phase In Timeline
(policy is effective after 60-day notice is given)
(policy becomes effective with lease renewals/lease signings)
There are many reasons for multi-family housing to go smoke-free and informing your residents of the reasons you made the decision are important. Earlier we provided some reasons to go smoke-free. Feel free to share that information with your residents so they understand why this policy is being put into place. Also, consider holding a complex-wide meeting to discuss the changes and address any questions that residents may have on the policy change. The Resources page contains additional information regarding cessation resources for those who are considering quitting.Go to Next Step
Implementing a smoke-free policy is very simple. Once you have decided on the date it will be effective it is important to make sure residents are aware of the new policy and the guidelines for making sure they adhere to the new rules. This can be done in various ways depending on how your residents usually receive information from you.
Smoke-free policies are largely self-enforcing just like any other policies you may have for residents. If residents complain, it is important to take down the complaint and make sure it is addressed with that resident in a timely manner. Having a consistent response to violations will make sure current and future residents as well as staff understand that this policy is clear and being handled just like any other policy would be. Enforcement becomes more difficult if you decide to grandfather people, because the other residents will not know who if grandfathered and who is not.
Tips to follow (may change depending on your policy)