Smoking in multi-unit housing


Imagine being excited to move into a new apartment and finally getting settled in only to realize that your new home has drifting second-hand smoke entering from a neighbor? What would you do? How would you feel? What if you had health challenges that got worse from this type of exposure on a frequent basis? Unfortunately, this type of living arrangement can occur as we often receive many complaints from tenants’ being exposed to second-hand smoke.

About one third of Ontarians living in multi-unit housing report exposure to second-hand smoke from neighbouring units. 80% of Ontarians would choose a smoke-free building if the choice existed according to ‘Smoke Free Housing Ontario’. Despite increases in the number of units that have no smoking policies, there is simply not enough to meet the demands of the 80%.

Second-hand smoke is a serious problem for many Ontario residents living in apartments and condominiums. Those is a challenge for those who suffer from chronic health conditions such as heart disease, asthma, allergies, diabetes, and respiratory illnesses. Ontarians spend most of their time at home, and it is in this environment where exposure continues to be reported. For many forced to breathe their neighbour’s smoke, one remedy is to move; however, moving is not always an option for people with disabilities, older adults or those with limited incomes. If you find yourself or a loved one in a situation like this there are supports available to you.

Smoke Free Housing Ontario

Has tools to help you and can be found here ( and includes:

  • worksheets to document your problem,
  • booklet in understanding your legal rights and options
  • letter templates to landlords and doctors
  • information on Landlord/Tenant hearings and what to expect

For more information about these tools or for assistance in understanding the laws regarding smoking in multi-unit dwellings please contact us 519-352-7270 for more information.


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