Your Rights as a Resident

The only way to be completely protected from the health hazards of secondhand smoke (SHS) is to live in 100 percent smoke-free housing

If secondhand smoke (SHS) is drifting into your home, your health and the health of those you love are at risk. There is no such thing as a legal “right to smoke.” However, you are entitled to breathe clean, smoke-free air at home. Here are some steps you can take:

  • Before you rent, find out if smoking policies are included in the lease and/or official community rules. Ask if there is smoking anywhere near your unit. If there is shared ventilation, walls or utilities, it is likely that SHS can get into your unit.
  • If there is a policy that isn’t being enforced, in a cordial manner, contact the neighboring resident/owner that is permitting smoking inside their unit to explain the situation and offer solutions. Smokers may not be aware that their SHS is seeping into your unit.
  • Contact other neighbors who may also be affected by seeping SHS.
  • If talking to your neighbors doesn’t work, contact the owner, property manager, or condo board for SHS seepage protection. Send notification and documents by registered mail with a return receipt.
  • If there is no policy in place, talk to your the owner or property manager about your problems with SHS in the building and about implementing a policy. If no one speaks up, owners or property managers assume there are no problems.
  • More than 8 out of 10 Floridian adults are not current smokers. So chances are that many of your neighbors would support smoke-free housing. Talk to them about how you can, together, ask your landlord to adopt a smoke-free policy. Remember, there’s strength in numbers.
  • For more information, download the Tobacco Free Florida brochure.

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