Smoke-Free Housing Legal Resources

Legal Training Information Frequently Asked Questions

Is it legal to ban smoking in all or part of my property? The Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act says a residence is exempt.

Yes. While a residence is generally exempt; any landlord, property manager or owner can make all or part of any building, unit or property smoke-free.

Can I make the indoor no smoking policy apply to just community areas?

The Colorado Indoor Air Act states that these areas must already be smoke-free. This is according to state law.

Do renters have a constitutional right to smoke?

No. There is no such thing as a "constitutional right" to smoke.

Why is there a concern about secondhand smoke?

Secondhand smoke is dangerous and any exposure poses a risk to your health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), secondhand smoke-related illnesses result in approximately 50,000 deaths in the United States each year.

Why would a landlord want to ban smoking on their rental property?

In addition to the fact that secondhand smoke is extremely hazardous to health, more people died in fires started by smoking than in any other type of fire.

Will a ban on smoking make it harder for landlords to rent their properties?

No. Surveys conducted across the country found that renters have a strong preference to live in smoke-free housing, In the Portland-Vancouver metro area, three quarters of renters reported they would rather live in a non-smoking building. Fifty-two percent said they were willing to pay extra rent for the opportunity.

How can I protect residents against secondhand smoke if I still want to allow smoking in my rental complex?

Unfortunately, physical barriers and ventilation systems are ineffective in protecting people from secondhand smoke exposure in multiunit housing. According to the American Association of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers, the only effective means to eliminate the health risks associated with indoor exposure to tobacco smoke is to ban smoking altogether.

Can a landlord be required to allow a tenant to smoke on the premises as a reasonable accommodation of disability?

No. Smoking addiction is not a recognized disability and smokers are not a recognized protected class for purposes of the Fair Housing Act, or Colorado's Anti-Discrimination Act.

Since marijuana is legal for medical and recreational purposes in Colorado, can I still include it in my smoke-free policy?

Yes. Marijuana smoking may be included in smoke-free policies.

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