Steps to a Smokefree Policy

If you are interested in adopting a smokefree policy, it is important to know where to start. Follow our 8-step instructions to constructing and implementing your new money saving, smokefree policy:
  • If you want to find out how your tenants feel about adopting a smokefree policy, consider first distributing a survey to get their reactions and level of interest.
  • Create policy language to add to your house rules and/or lease. Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all policy, so choose what works best for your property and residents. For examples, please check out our sample policies.
  •  Send a letter to tenants explaining your intention of going smokefree.
    In the letter explain:
    • What the policy will include (i.e details on when the policy will be implemented, what areas of the property are smokefree, whether or not existing tenants will be grandfathered and, if so, how long).
    • Your reasons for policy adoption (i.e. cite health and financial benefits to you and your tenants).
    • Results of violating the policy (i.e. details of enforcement procedure).
    • Where people who choose to continue to smoke are allowed to do so (i.e. 50 feet from the building, off the property, etc.).
  •  Allow tenants to respond, in person or in writing, to the announcement of policy change.
    • Hold a meeting for tenants to come and discuss their opinions and concerns about the policy.
    •  Provide information to tenants on cessation resources available. For the more information on the 802Quits/The Vermont Quit Smoking Resource, visit
  • Add a smokefree policy to your house rules (this should occur no sooner than 30 day following the written announcement; 90 days notice is recommended).
    • For private properties, add the provision to the lease of all new and renewing tenants.
    • For public or subsidized housing, add the smokefree clause to the house rules or lease addendum and have each new or renewing tenant sign the provision. Check with the agency providing your subsidy before making any changes to a model lease.
    • Post proper signage to ensure your residents, guests and contractors are aware of the smokefree policy.
    • Have vacancies? Don’t forget to list that your units are smokefree when you add them to newspaper classifieds or apartment search engines! Also, include notice of your smokefree status on any intake forms and applications.