Skip to main content
Photo credit: Billboard developed by N.C. Community Transformation Grant Project, Region 3

Secondhand smoke is smoke given off by a burning cigarette or smoke exhaled by a smoker. In apartment and condominium buildings, secondhand smoke can easily travel from smokers’ units to:

  • common areas
  • hallways
  • non-smokers’ units

There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. The only way to fully protect non-smokers from secondhand smoke is to eliminate smoking in indoor spaces.

Health Effects

Secondhand smoke has many negative health effects. Children, pregnant women, and the elderly are especially vulnerable. Exposure to secondhand smoke can result in:

  • asthma attacks
  • birth defects
  • heart disease
  • lung cancer
  • respiratory problems
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

Smoking is also the leading cause of home fire deaths in the United States. Fires caused by cigarettes and other smoking products can result in injury, death, and costly property damage and loss.


Printable Resources

hud_secondhand smoke
HUD Smoke Free Housing toolkit
ala smoke free housing
ALA Smokefree Multi-Unit Housing fact sheet
 CDC Going Smokefree matters factsheet
CDC Going Smoke Free Matters
anrf tenants rights
American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation tenants’ rights fact sheet
cdc_secondhand smoke
CDC Secondhand Smoke report
Tobacco Prevention and Control Branch Funding Region 2020-2025 map
Tobacco Prevention and Control Branch (TPCB) Funding Region 2020-2025
nc dhhs reasonable accommodations
NC DHHS disability laws fact sheet
Smoke-free Public Housing Final Rules
HUD Smoke Free Public Housing Final Rules