Nov 1, 2002

Environmental Tobacco Smoke in Rental Housing - Perceived Problems & Interest in Smoke-Free Buildings

Martha Hewett


Six hundred Minnesota renters were surveyed to determine the perceived extent of secondhand smoke transfer in multifamily buildings and to assess the marketability of smoke-free rental housing. Forty-eight percent of renters reported that, at times, tobacco smoke odors get into their current apartment from elsewhere in or around the building. Ten percent said this occurs often or most of the time, a proportion that would translate to roughly 37,000 households statewide. Thirty-seven percent of those experiencing secondhand smoke transfer say it bothers them a lot or so much they are thinking of moving. Forty-seven percent of households are extremely or very interested in living in a building where smoking is prohibited. Fifty-four percent would be very likely to choose a smoke-free building all other things being equal, and 34% would be willing to pay more to live in one.