Smoke-Free Public Housing

Congratulations on Geauxing Smoke-Free! 

Find tools and resources here at Well-Ahead Louisiana on implementing and maintaining your policy! Implementing a smoke-free policy can offer many benefits including reduced turnaround time of vacant units, reduced fire risk and lower maintenance cost.


The smoke-free movement in public housing is now in effect! As a result of a federal rule instituted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), all public housing authorities across the country are now smoke-free. Housing authorities with public housing have been required to adopt smoke-free policies that meet a minimum set requirement. The federal HUD rule only established a minimum requirement but some housing authorities chose to go beyond the rule. 

Congratulations to all Louisiana public housing communities on being smoke-free! 

Benefits of Geauxing Smoke-Free

Resident health

There is NO safe level of secondhand smoke exposure. Research suggests that individuals with low income living in subsidized housing may have a greater chance of exposure to secondhand smoke because smoking prevalence is higher among low-income populations [1],[2]. Groups that are particularly vulnerable to the negative effects of secondhand smoke include children, pregnant women, and the elderly [3]. Air quality experts acknowledge that the only way to truly reduce the health risk from secondhand smoke exposure is to be smoke-free [4].


Heavy and moderate smoking can also cause damage to most surfaces and fixtures in the apartments, prolonging the time it takes to rehab a unit. Secondhand smoke can flow into a non-smoker's unit through open windows and under doors; seep between shared walls; and creep through shared ventilation systems, piping, plumbing and even wiring! See the cost of rehabilitating a smoker's unit compared to a non-smoker's unit by clicking here.

Reduced Fire Risk 

Smoking in units can lead to serious damage to the property including smoking-related fires [1]. In 2011 smoking materials such as tobacco products that require a heat source (excluding matches and lighters) caused $516 million in direct property damage and 1,370 civilian injuries. Nineteen percent of home structure fire deaths were attributed to smoking materials [5]. Smoke-free policies in multi-unit housing could reduce the risk of smoking material related fires, damages and deaths by removing these ignition sources from inside the building. 

[1] Pizacani, B., Maher, J. E., Rhode, K., Drach, L., & Stark, M. (2011). Implementation of a smoke-free policy in subsidized multiunit housing: Effects on smoking cessation and secondhand smoke exposure. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 14, 1027-1034.
[2] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Community Health Division. (2013). A practitioners guide for advancing health equity: Community strategies for preventing chronic disease. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved from:
[3] North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services. Smoke-free multi-unit housing North Carolina.  Retrieved from:
[4] Tobacco Control Legal Consortium. (2015). Creating smoke-free affordable housing. Retrieved from:
[5] Hall, J.R. (2013). National Fire Protection Association. Smoking-material fire problem. Retrieved from: 

[1] Change is in the air: An action guide for establis

[1] Change is in the air: An action guide for establis

Resources to Help Individuals Quit Smoking

Quit resources, also known as tobacco cessation resources, are treatments to help people quit tobacco use. These treatments can involve the combination of nicotine patches, gum, lozenges, medications and/or group and individual counseling. 

Although the main focus of going smoke-free is to take the smoke outside the buildings, some smokers may also use this change in their communities as an opportunity to quit.

Resources for Staff and Residents:

For more information on quitting resources in Louisiana, click here.

Geaux Smoke-Free Housing Materials

We have created a smoke-free housing guide to assist you in the process of becoming smoke-free properties.


Smoke-Free Housing Guide


Refer below to link to editable versions of sample documents in the Smoke-Free Housing Toolkit:

Sample Resident Survey 

Sample Policy and Lease Addendum 

Sample Notice to Residents 

Sample  Compliance Letter 

Sample Complaint Form

Have additional questions? >>Contact the smoke-free housing leader!