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Learn All the Benefits of Smokefree Apartments.

A common myth about smoking and multi-unit housing complexes is that many people believe separating apartments into smoking and nonsmoking units eliminates secondhand smoke exposure to nonsmokers.

Not true.

Secondhand smoke can spread throughout apartment buildings in a number of unexpected ways, including:

  • Ventilation and forced air systems
  • Doors and windows
  • Electrical outlets
  • Cable and phone jacks
  • Ceiling fixtures and crawl spaces
  • Gaps around sinks, countertops, cabinets or walls
  • Neighbors’ balconies and common areas

Not even expensive ventilation or air filtration systems eliminate the risk of secondhand smoke. Every one is exposed to the harmful effects of secondhand smoke, no matter how you try to separate smoking from nonsmoking.


All residents should be alarmed because after just a few minutes of exposure to secondhand smoke, a nonsmoker can begin to exhibit health problems comparable to those of smokers. On top of this, since residents spend so much time at home, the exposure is likely longer, increasing their risk of illness or disease. Secondhand smoke doesn’t just harm people either. Dogs exposed to secondhand smoke are three times more likely to develop lung or nasal cancer, and cats can ingest poisons from secondhand smoke that have settled on their fur.

Whether you live in an apartment or other form of multi-unit housing, advocate for your landlord to adopt a smokefree property policy. Let him or her know about secondhand smoke coming into your unit and how it is affecting your health. Talk to your neighbors too, as some may share your concerns. For tips on how to get the conversation started, click here.

You shouldn’t have to choose between your home and your health. Advocate for smokefree property policies, and help make Oklahoma a healthier, happier place to live.

For more resources on secondhand smoke and multi-unit housing, click here.

If you use tobacco and are thinking about quitting, free help and nonjudgmental support is available at 1-800-QUIT NOW or OKhelpline.com.