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Middlesex-London Health Unit

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Smoke-Free Housing - Information for Tenants

Many people living in multi-unit housing are still being involuntarily exposed to second-hand smoke drifting into their unit from neighbouring units.1



  • Up to 65 % of the air in a unit can come from other units2 and second-hand smoke cannot be fully removed by ventilation systems, filters or even air purifiers.1
  • No matter how well a building is built or maintained second-hand smoke can drift into housing units through open windows, doors, electrical outlets, ceiling fixtures, shared ventilation systems, through cracks and crevices between units, through balconies, patios and porches.1

Regularly exposed to drifting
second-hand smoke?

You have options.

If you are exposed to drifting second-hand smoke in your home on a regular basis Smoke-Free Housing Ontario has many tools and resources available such as:

  • Taking Action” - steps to reducing second-hand smoke exposure
  • A sample tenant log sheet (PDF) to document when second-hand smoke drifts into your unit and all the actions you have taken

Ask For It!

Smoke-free housing is safer and healthier for all.

Is it legal?

Under the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 (SFOA, 2017) it is illegal to smoke tobacco or cannabis  and use an e-cigarette to vape any substance in the common areas (such as lobbies, elevators, stairwells, covered parking garages and hallways) of condominiums, apartments or post-secondary residence buildings.

The SFOA, 2017 does not apply to a private, self-contained unit such as an apartment or condominium. However, landlords and property owners have the legal right to implement no-smoking policies that could include individual units, balconies or even the entire property.


Looking for smoke-free housing in Middlesex-London?

If living in smoke-free housing is important there are many things you can do:

  • Check out the Smoke-Free Housing Directory for a list of smoke-free housing in Middlesex-London
  • Inquire about the smoking status of the building or units you are interested before signing a lease
  • Ask for it - Talk to your landlord /property manager and advocate for a no-smoking policy in your building
Date of creation: October 11, 2016
Last modified on: November 16, 2018


1Non-Smokers’ Rights Association (NSRA) and Smoking and Health Action Foundation (SHAF). (March 2018). Second-Hand Smoke: A Tenants Guide. Retrieved from
2Non-Smokers’ Rights Association (NSRA) and Smoking and Health Action Foundation (SHAF). (2017). Tenants: Why Smoke-Free. Retrieved from
3Smoke-Free Housing Ontario. (2017). Landlords: How to Guide. Toronto, ON: Non-Smokers’ Rights Association (NSRA). Retrieved from