Life isn’t easy for smokers. They can’t light up in the office, in restaurants or in hotel rooms. And now, increasingly, they can’t smoke in their own apartment units.
A growing number of multifamily developments are prohibiting smoking in their units. There are plenty of health and safety reasons to do this: Smoking can cause fires. Secondhand smoke can filter through the units of smokers and into the housing of non-smokers.
But the biggest? As smoking continues to become less popular, tenants increasingly want to live in buildings that prohibit it. This means that landlords and building owners will have an easier time attracting tenants if they enforce a no-smoking ban in all apartment units.
The American Lung Association and the Chicagoland Apartment Association recently released their own study on smoke-free apartment buildings in the Chicago area. The groups surveyed 140 property managers and multifamily building owners, and found that 44 percent of them banned smoking in all of their properties’ units. An additional 14 percent banned smoking in some of the units, while 42 percent had no smoking policy at all.
Increasingly, property managers are prohibiting smoking not just in units but on the entire grounds of an apartment building. The survey found that 32 percent of property managers run apartment buildings in which the entire grounds are smokefree. An additional 42 percent have policies stating that tenants can smoke as long as they are at least 15 feet away from the entrance to their buildings. Just 26 percent of property managers said that they have no policies prohibiting smoking on their buildings’ grounds.
You can expect anti-smoking policies to become even more popular. The survey found that 85 percent of property managers without a smoke-free policy are interested in developing anti-smoking policies for their apartment properties. Only 15 percent of those surveyed said that they are not interested in enacting smoke-free policies in the near future.