Adopting a Smoke-Free Policy in Affordable Housing


Whether your property is publicly or privately subsidized, you can adopt a smoke-free policy for your building. The requirements for implementing a smoke-free policy in affordable housing may vary depending on the type of subsidy or assistance the property receives. If you have questions not answered below contact Live Smoke Free.

The tools and resources on this page are specific to affordable housing and are supplemental to the information on the Property Managers page.

Public Housing

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires all public housing to have a smoke-free policy in order to protect the health and safety of all residents and staff, lower maintenance costs, and reduce the risk of deadly and costly fires.The rule restricts the use of prohibited tobacco products including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and hookah. Use of these products is not allowed anywhere inside public housing buildings including individual units, common areas, offices, or within 25 feet of the building(s).

More About HUD’s Smoke-Free Public Housing Rule

This toolkit was created in 2018 for use by Minnesota public housing agencies. However, the tools listed below are useful to a broad array of multi-unit housing in the process of implementing a smoke-free policy. The toolkit development was supported by a Tobacco Free Communities Grant from the Minnesota Department of Health.

Support Your Residents In Quitting

Most people who smoke want to quit. Give your residents and staff the tools they need to quit successfully.

See our cessation page for more resources to help your residents and staff quit.

National Resources for Public Housing Agencies

Find more smoke-free public housing tools and resources from Clean Air for All: The Smoke-Free Public Housing Project. Clean Air for All was a project of Live Smoke Free and the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials from 2018-2021.


Smoke-free public housing information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Resources for Smoke-Free Affordable Housing



“HUD Encourages PHA’s to Become SmokeFree” Article from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Ecowise newsletter.


“Ban Smoking in Public Housing” Article by Dr. Jonathon Winickoff that appeared in Newsweek.


“Smoke-free Affordable Housing: Picking on Poor People or a Case for Social Justice” Article from the Non-Smokers’ Rights Association.


“Smoke-free Subsidized Housing Would Save $521 Million a Year” Press Release from the CDC.


Memos & Letters

“Non-Smoking Policies in Public Housing” Memo to Public Housing Authorities from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.


“Further Encouragement for O/As to Adopt Optional Smoke-Free Housing Policies” Memo to participants of Multifamily Housing Rental Assistance Programs from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.


Letter from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Minneapolis Field Office Letter.


Letter from U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development’s Minnesota Field Office Letter.


Additional Resources

“Secondhand Smoke Seepage into Multi-Unit Affordable Housing” Law Synopsis


“Smoking and Special Populations: Addressing Myths & Reducing Barriers to Providing Smoke-Free”


“Smoke-Free Housing” A excerpt from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s “Leading our Nation to Healthier Homes: The Healthy Home Strategic Plan”


“Secondhand Smoke” An excerpt from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services “The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Promote Healthy Homes”


“National and State Cost Savings Associated With Prohibiting Smoking in Subsidized and Public Housing in the United States”


Dakota County Compliance and Cessation Campaign