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.

Why Go Smokefree?


Creating a smokefree culture is good for everyone. Smokefree policies can protect non-smokers from the harm associated with second-hand smoke and third-hand smoke such as the nicotine and other toxins left behind on surfaces after exposure to smoke.

Smokefree policies can also increase current-smokers’ levels of motivation to stop, and can trigger quit attempts or lead to reduced consumption. Most people who are socioeconomically disadvantaged want to quit as much as others. Often attempts are less successful because they lack supportive environments and adequate resources. Access to stop smoking support within a smokefree environment will further increase the likelihood that tenants stop smoking and remain smokefree.

Smokefree policies can also reduce unnecessary maintenance and repairs to housing units, particularly the cleaning and repainting of yellowed and stained interior surfaces. Smokefree policies may also reduce fire risks and related insurance costs.

Smokefree social housing policies have been reported to result in:

  • reduced levels of disruptive behaviours and conflicts between tenants,
  • improved management-to-tenant relations, and
  • potentially favourable effects on overall management time.

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.