Smokefree Social Housing

Smokefree Social Housing

Smokefree social housing environments can improve tenants’ health and  wellbeing.

A smokefree social housing policy can result in wins for tenants, housing providers, and the wider community.

Getting started with smokefree housing


A key step in becoming a smokefree social housing provider is to develop a policy that is fit-for-purpose.

The policy can outline why, how, and what you are going to do to be a smokefree provider. This gives you a clear foundation and commitment for the long term.

It is important to plan your approach and a written plan will act as a road-map for the tasks needed to move towards smokefree social housing.

The design of a smokefree indoor policy and how you put it into place may be determined by the following considerations:

  • organisational philosophy,
  • leadership,
  • staff attitudes and knowledge,
  • resources available,
  • systems including IT,
  • characteristics of the buildings,
  • tenants,
  • availability of appropriate stop smoking support, and
  • any other relevant factors.

The Smokefree Social Housing Toolkit will help you to consider all of these factors and to plan your approach. Feel free to copy or adapt the Toolkit and associated resources to suit your particular situation.

Smokefree social housing is an achievable goal

Studies show that the acceptability of comprehensive smokefree policies among tenants in social housing is generally high. About 90 percent of non-smokers and up to three-quarters of current smokers support smokefree indoor social housing policies when correctly introduced.

Mutually beneficial health and non-health outcomes are realistic goals and there is considerable potential to target a difficult-to-reach population of smokers with stop smoking support.

Implementing a no-smoking policy does take some time and effort, but it is not excessively technically complicated.

There are no legal barriers to smokefree policies in New Zealand  - provided that they are introduced in a way that is consistent with the Residential Tenancies Act 1986.

SFSocialHousingToolkitDownload the Smokefree Social Housing Toolkit [1.36MB PDF].

The Toolkit provides information, templates and checklists to assist you to engage with your staff, partner organisations, and your tenants, as you move towards the goal of becoming smokefree.

Contact Smokefree Canterbury if you have any feedback or questions about this toolkit and/or would like support to become smokefree. You can also phone 03 364 1777.

This toolkit is the winner of the 2017 Australasian Housing Institute Professional Excellence in Housing Award for the “Leading Innovation” category in New Zealand.


Smokefree Social Housing Disclaimer

These webpages and the Toolkit document include an interpretation of selected clauses from the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 and the Smoke-free Environments Act 1990. The summary and interpretation does not reproduce these clauses and must not be taken or used as legal advice.

It is recommended that organisations obtain independent legal advice relevant to their specific circumstances and intent. Although the Canterbury District Health Board has taken reasonable steps to ensure that the information is accurate, it accepts no liability or responsibility for any acts or omissions, done or omitted in reliance in whole or in part, on the information presented within this summary or elsewhere within these webpages or the Toolkit document.

The Canterbury District Health Board accepts no responsibility for the manner in which this information is subsequently used.