Smoke-Free Multi-Unit Housing

Who is at Risk?

People who live in apartments and multi-unit housing are at higher risk for secondhand smoke and thirdhand smoke exposure. Secondhand smoke can drift into units through windows, doors, walls, hallways, and air ducts. This includes children, elderly, and people with disabilities. 

Secondhand Smoke

Secondhand smoke exposure in Multi-unit dwellings such as apartments and condominiums is unfortunately both common and also dangerous for you and your family.

  • Exposure to secondhand smoke can lead to serious health problems including lung cancer, heart disease, and stroke and can make asthma worse in adults and children.
  • More than 1 in 3 nonsmokers who live in rental housing are exposed to secondhand smoke. (CDC VitalSigns: Secondhand Smoke an Unequal Danger)
  • More than 2 in 5 nonsmokers who live below the poverty level are exposed to secondhand smoke. (CDC VitalSigns: Secondhand Smoke an Unequal Danger)

Do you know how to protect your family from secondhand smoke? Take this quiz at Tobaccofreeca.com to find out.

Thirdhand Smoke

The smoke from tobacco products sticks to indoor surfaces such as walls, windows, furniture, and floors. It does not simply blow away. All tobacco products, including but not limited to cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, and smokeless tobacco have been shown to leave nicotine and/or smoke residue in indoor environments. (CDPH Thirdhand Smoke)

Children who live in apartments show a higher level of exposure to tobacco chemicals. Children's growing bodies makes them more vulnerable to thirdhand smoke than adults.
Facts about Thirdhand Smoke.

  • Thirdhand smoke changes over time and becomes progressively more toxic.
  • Long-term exposure to pollutants in thirdhand smoke has been shown to damage human cells and DNA.
  • Children who live in apartments show a higher level of exposure to tobacco chemicals.
  • Infants and children spend more time indoors, and Babies may ingest the chemicals in thirdhand smoke when they put toys or household objects in their mouth, and when they crawl or play on the floor.

For more information contact the Tobacco Education Program staff at 209-966-3689.

Resource: © 2017 CDPH CTCP "Secondhand Smoke in Multi-Unit Housing"
Resource: © 2017 CDPH CTCP "Thirdhand Smoke in Multi-Unit Housing"