Secondhand Smoke
Protect Your Home

Get the Word Out
More than one in three adults reported smelling tobacco smoke while at home and in shared spaces.2 Tobacco’s toxins can creep through open windows and doors, shared ventilation systems and walls, ceiling crawl spaces, and even gaps around electrical wiring, light fixtures, plumbing, ductwork and baseboards. The only way to avoid tobacco smoke at home is to make your home totally smoke-free: always take it outside.

Make Your Shared Home Smoke-Free

Those of us who live in apartments, condos, or townhomes are at even greater risk as secondhand smoke can travel through ventilation systems. Eighty-five percent (85%) of Coloradans do not allow smoking in their homes1 - but, if you live in an apartment, condo, or townhome smoke from a neighbor could be seeping into your home. The Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act requires no-smoking policies in all public indoor areas, and bans smoking within 15 feet of the main entryway of any apartment building. If you’re still smelling smoke in your home there are several other steps you can take to keep your home smoke-free, such as:3
  1. Determine where the smoke is coming from and contact property management
    If you can smell cigarette smoke, you’re being exposed to its toxins. No air filtration system can eliminate the toxic chemicals in secondhand smoke known to cause cancer.
  2. Examine your lease
    Most multi-unit housing leases prohibit neighbors from causing annoyance, irritation and health problems. It’s possible smoking may cause a breach of lease.
  3. Get medical documentation
    If your health conditions such as asthma, hay fever, allergies, or pulmonary or cardiac disease are impacted by secondhand smoke, get a doctor’s letter and provide it to property management. If management doesn’t take action, file a complaint through the Colorado Fair Housing Act.
  4. Put it in writing
    Put your secondhand smoke concerns or health risks in writing. Property management and landlords may take you more seriously and also send a copy to your local health department.
  5. Get the Word Out
    Talk with other residents about the dangers of secondhand smoke at a meeting, or through flyers.
“No Smoking” policies do not discriminate or violate fair-housing regulations. By law, it is a landlords’ responsibility to provide reasonable accommodations to people with serious breathing disabilities or smoking allergies.
The My Smoke Free Housing website ( provides a list of over 500 properties with smoke-free policies. The site also provides information and tips for landlords looking to implement smoke-free policies.