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revised November 30, 2018

Arrow BulletSmoke-free Homes

There is no safe amount of exposure to second-hand smoke (SHS)

Second-hand smoke causes lung cancer and heart disease in adults.

A home is smoke-free when...

Making your home 100% smoke-free is the only way to reduce the harmful effects of second-hand smoke.
  • Smoking is NOT allowed inside the home at any time.
  • Every room in the home is 100% smoke-free.

Smoke-free homes make a difference

  • Second-hand smoke spreads to every room of a house-even when the doors are closed and windows are open. 2
  • Air cleaning systems can’t remove all the small particles and gases in second-hand smoke. . 2

How to make your home smoke-free

Talk and show support, but stand firm
  • Tell others your reasons for having a smoke-free home
  • If a friend or family member doesn't like your decision, be supportive but firm in your commitment to protect yourself, your family and your guests from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke. 2
  • Celebrate your decision to protect loved ones from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke. 2

Make the commitment - and keep it!

Creating a smoke-free home takes some time, effort and self-discipline, but it's worth it!

Start by

  • Removing all ashtrays from your home.
  • Setting up smoking areas outdoors that are away from doors and windows.2
  • Setting the day for going smoke-free. Don’t let anyone smoke in your home after this date.
  • Telling visitors that smoking is not allowed inside your home by displaying “smoke-free” decals or signs on widows or doors.

Other benefits of a smoke-free home

  • The air will smell fresher and cleaner. 2
  • Smoke-free homes have a lower risk of fires.2

Second-hand smoke in apartments, condos, and other multi-unit dwellings (MUDs)

A multi-unit dwelling (MUD) is a building that contains more than one living unit 3 such as:

  • Hi-rise apartment buildings
  • Condominiums
  • Townhouses
  • Duplexes
  • Semi-detached houses
  • Houses partitioned into apartment units
  • Basement suites
  • People that live in a multi-unit dwelling (MUD) are more likely to notice second-hand smoke (SHS) entering their unit. 4
  • Second-hand smoke can seep through shared ventilation systems or crevices around doors, windows or electrical outlets into neighbouring units.3

Smoke-free multi-unit dwelling (MUD) resources

Smoke-Free Housing Ontario Logo


1 Government of Ontario. (1994). Smoke-Free Ontario Act, S.O. 1994 c. 10 Accessed February 5, 2010.

2 Health Canada (2006). Make your Home and Car Smoke-Free: A Guide to Protecting your Family from Second-hand Smoke. (PDF). Accessed February 5, 2010.

3 The Non-Smoker's Right's Association (NSRA). (2006). When Neighbours Smoke: Exposure to Drifting Second-hand Smoke in Multi-Unit Dwellings (PDF). Accessed February 5, 2010.

4 The Ontario Tobacco Research Unit (OTRU). (2009). Reports of Tobacco Smoke Entering Ontario Homes (PDF). OTRU Update. March 2009. Accessed February 5, 2010.

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Revised: November 30, 2018


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