- Have a meeting to talk about making your home smoke-free.
- Set up a smoking area outside your home for smokers to use. Make sure it’s not where the smoke will drift in through windows, doors or vents.
- Tell visitors before they come over that your home is now smoke-free. If they smoke, it must be outside.
- Put a no-smoking sign in your entry hallway or on the wall next to the door.
- Tell friends and family how much you value the changes they are making to be smoke-free.
- Offer a “smoking coat” or sweatshirt to people who go outside to smoke. That way, they won’t bring back third-hand smoke on their clothes.
In condos or apartment buildings
It can be harder to make your home smoke-free if you live in a condo or apartment building. When you share walls, vents and ducts of an apartment, you also share some of the air.
Ventilation systems (like air filters) in hallways and units can help clear some of the smoke. Air systems can help reduce the odour of smoke and may reduce eye and throat irritation, but they don’t get rid of the chemicals completely.
Some people will feel OK talking directly to neighbours who smoke. Tell them about the problem and try to work out a solution together. They may not be aware that the smoke is coming into your unit.
Tips to stop smoke from entering your unit
- Look for cracks and spaces between the walls and floor and for openings around windows, doors and plumbing. Then, block or seal all these open spaces with filling or sealing materials.
- Add weather-stripping around your front door and balcony door.
- Put door sweeps on the bottom of those doors – these fill the space between the floor and the bottom of the door.
- Place special gaskets or sealers behind electrical switch plates and outlet plates to block smoke.
Talk to your landlord or property manager
Share your concerns with your landlord or property manager, and ask for their help.
- Ask the property manager to check the ventilation system to make sure it’s working properly so the air is a little cleaner.
- Keep track of where and when the smoke is entering your unit.
- Get the property manager to make repairs to seal off the smoke if you can’t do it.
- If the smoke is coming from a specific unit, ask the landlord or property manager to try to block it. They can use the same methods in the smoker’s unit that you used in your unit.
- If people are smoking in common areas – like the laundry room, pool area, stairwells or elevators – ask management to post no-smoking signs.
- Read your rental agreement. If all or part of your building is smoke-free, ask them to enforce the rules.
There may be other people in your building who are having the same problems as you are with second-hand smoke. You may want to work with them to try to get a no-smoking policy for the building or your floor. Share your group’s concerns with the local tenant association or your condo board. They might be able to help.
If you’ve tried everything and are still no closer to living smoke-free, you may in the end decide to move to a smoke-free building or rent in a newer building with better air quality. Some buildings are going smoke-free.