What is it?

Smoke-free housing is housing where smoking is not allowed inside, including both single family homes and multi-unit buildings. Smoke-free housing can be identified by smoke-free protections included within the tenants’ lease agreement. Smoking may be allowed in outdoor areas, but not within 15 feet of public doors, windows, and ventilation systems as stated in the Smoke-Free Illinois Act. Those who smoke can live in the building, but smoking will not be allowed in the building.

Benefits of Smoke-Free Housing

Smoke-free housing gives everyone the opportunity to breathe cleaner air. Within multi-unit housing, smoke can seep into attached units through cracks, light fixtures, and heating and cooling systems. Smoke-free housing eliminates the chance of toxic smoke traveling from one unit to another. Up to 65% of air in any given unit is shared with air from other units and common areas. So, living in a smoke-free environment is one the best decisions you can make for yourself and your loved ones. By eliminating your exposure to secondhand smoke, you are promoting your health and well-being. Smoke-free housing reduces risk of heart attacks, heart and lung disease, cancer and respiratory illness due to exposure to secondhand smoke. It also frees your apartment from thirdhand smoke, the cancer-causing toxins that remain on fabrics, walls, furniture, and carpets after tobacco smoke has dissipated.

Smoke-free housing also benefits property owners and managers. It protects your investment and your residents by reducing risk of fire-related injury and death; reduces unit turnover costs, and saves money and time.

What’s happening in suburban Cook County?

Healthy HotSpot partners for tobacco-free living are working to advance smoke-free protections in multi-unit housing throughout suburban Cook County. By reaching out to property owners and managers directly, we are connecting them with resources to have smoke-free protections for their properties. By educating residents of suburban Cook County through media campaigns, we are raising awareness of the importance and benefits of smoke-free living. We are also partnering with local governments, such as the Village of Park Forest in south suburban Cook County, to pass resolutions stating that smoke-free housing is legal, profitable, and easy.

Smoke-free housing is available throughout suburban Cook County. Check out our map to find properties with smoke-free protections, like the Housing Authority of Cook County.

Do you want your property to go smoke-free?

The resources below can help you if you're thinking about making your property smoke-free.

Download our toolkit

Connect residents to quit smoking resources

  • Enroll as a referral partner for Illinois Tobacco Quitline to connect residents to quit resources including counseling, tips for quitting, and practical ideas for staying smoke-free. 
  • Hand out the fact sheets below:

Become a recognized Healthy HotSpot

To be recognized as a smoke-free housing location the owner or manager must complete this PDF form and submit it with supporting documentation to healthyhotspot@cookcountyhhs.org. Please allow 6-8 weeks for review.

Gold

  • 100% of units and common areas are smoke-free. All resident lease agreements include smoke-free policy.
  • 100% of property grounds are smoke-free. Includes managers, staff, tenants, guests, and vendors.

Silver

  • 100% of units and common areas are smoke-free. All residents lease agreements include Smoke-free policy.
  • Smoking prohibited on property grounds within 15 feet of building; includes manager, staff, tenants, guests, and vendors.

Bronze

  • Portion of units are smoke-free. At least 50% of residents lease agreements include smoke-free policy.
  • Smoking prohibited on property grounds within 15 feet of building; includes manager, staff, tenants, guests, and vendors.

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Healthy HotSpots help us to eat better, move more, live tobacco-free, and respond to emergencies.