Personal Health Care

Exposure to any amount of secondhand smoke is harmful. One of the places where exposure often occurs is in or around people’s housing. Thurston County Public Health & Social Services encourages housing owners and managers to develop smoke-free policies to increase the amount of space where people are living that is free of secondhand smoke.

While there are many types of ‘smoke-free’, and ways to phase-in the policy, the only way to ensure no exposure is to declare an entire property to be smoke-free.

There are several main reasons why landlords, housing owners and housing managers are interested in having a smoke-free policy:

1.   Saving on costs: less maintenance and cleaning costs for units or facilities where smoking has not been allowed; reduced risk of fires;
2.   Reduced liability: whereas smokers are not a protected class of people, people living with breathing disabilities or smoking allergies, which may be aggravated by exposures to secondhand smoke;
3.   Better reputation and attractiveness for most renters: over 80% of all renters, and even a majority of those who smoke, prefer smoke-free housing;
4.   Improving community health: by reducing secondhand smoke, you are helping protect your tenants from negative health effects of breathing smoke or the residues of smoking.


If you are a housing owner or manager and would like more information or assistance with establishing a smoke-free policy, or other indoor air quality issues, please contact us:

Chris Hawkins
(Smoke-Free Policy)
(360) 867-2513
This project has been funded by a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 10 Indoor Air Program.

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This page last updated: 01/28/22