Everyone deserves a smoke-free home

Minneapolis helps make more rental housing smoke-free

Photo of a father and child with the words everyone deserves a smoke-free homeEveryone deserves a smoke-free home; smokers and nonsmokers alike benefit from avoiding secondhand smoke. The City of Minneapolis can help renters who want smoke-free housing, and it can help property owners make their buildings smoke-free.

There is no safe level of secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, many of which are toxic, and about 70 of which cause cancer.

A City survey in 2016 found that more than one-third of rental properties surveyed were not smoke-free. Furthermore, only 45 percent of rental properties that accept subsidies are smoke-free, compared to 71 percent of non-subsidized buildings. That makes it even harder for renters with lower incomes to find smoke-free housing.

To help create more smoke-free living options, Minneapolis teamed up with the Live Smoke Free program. For 10 years, Live Smoke Free has helped property owners, managers and renters with smoke-free housing policies. During this time, the number of smoke-free buildings has increased from 50 to 3,000 across the state.

Property owners can pass their own smoke-free policies to make their buildings 100 percent smoke-free. With these policies, renters who smoke may still smoke; however, they must do so outside. The partnership with Live Smoke Free offers:


  • Tips, resources and assistance approaching their property owners or managers.
  • A list of smoke-free rental properties.

Property owners and managers

  • A free workshop to help rental property owners adopt smoke-free policies:
  • 9:30-11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 11, at Hosmer Library, 347 E. 36th St.
  • “Thank you for taking it outside” posters, door hangers, postcards and yard signs.
  • A step-by-step process for making buildings smoke-free.
  • Tools and resources including sample documents and signs.
  • One-on-one troubleshooting and assistance.
  • Help understanding Minnesota laws about prohibiting smoking indoors.
  • Ideas and resources for encouraging renter compliance with a new or existing policy.

More about secondhand smoke

Adults exposed to secondhand smoke may experience a greater risk of heart attacks, strokes, heart disease and lung cancer. In the U.S., secondhand smoke causes nearly 34,000 nonsmoker heart disease deaths annually and more than 7,300 nonsmoker lung cancer deaths annually according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Children and infants exposed to secondhand smoke may experience pneumonia, bronchitis, coughing, sneezing, wheezing, shortness of breath, frequent and severe asthma attacks, ear infections and a greater risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). An estimated 430 babies die each year in the U.S. of SIDS due to secondhand smoke, according to the American Lung Association.

This initiative is supported by the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership, Minnesota Department of Health.

For smoke-free rental housing help, renters and property owners and managers can call 311 or visit www.minneapolismn.gov/smoke-free.