American Lung Association in California and CA4Health Survey Results Show California Tenants Favor Protections from Secondhand Smoke in their Multi-Unit Homes

Sacramento, CA (June 11, 2014)

A new survey released by the American Lung Association in California and CA4Health, a project of the Public Health Institute funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shows that tenants from 12 counties across California support protections from secondhand smoke in multi-unit housing, as individuals and families who live inside these units cannot easily escape the drifting, harmful secondhand smoke that fills their homes. The 12 counties surveyed include Calaveras, Humboldt, Imperial, Madera, Mendocino, Merced, Monterey, Shasta, Siskiyou, Solano, Tulare, and Tuolumne.

Breathing secondhand smoke in multi-unit buildings is a public health issue because smoke coming from neighboring units, patios, balconies and outdoor common areas drifts through open windows, doors and shared ventilation systems. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke and most of those surveyed are aware of this dangerous fact.  

Across the board, 92% of tenants surveyed said that secondhand smoke is harmful to those who inhale it, and 58% are concerned about the health effects of secondhand smoke drifting into their apartments. In addition, more than one-third of tenants surveyed revealed that secondhand smoke drifted into their unit within the past year.

Due to high awareness regarding the dangers secondhand smoke, it’s not surprising that 69% of renters favor a rule to prohibit smoking in outdoor common areas of apartment buildings and 61% favor a ban on smoking inside apartment units. In California, 55 municipalities already have adopted policies to address secondhand smoke in multi-unit housing, but there are still many left without any protections in their homes.

More information on the survey results are available at