In the United States, multi-unit housing is one of the few shared spaces that remains largely unregulated in many communities. According to the 2016 American Community Survey, nearly 49 million people in the U.S. live in rented multi-unit housing, more than 259,000 in Nebraska. The advent of the Nebraska Clean Indoor Air Act (NCIAA) in 2008 brought in sweeping changes to the use of tobacco in public spaces. However, the NCIAA only prevented the use of lit "tobacco products" in enclosed "common areas," such as common entryways and hallways shared by tenants. It is important to note that the 2014 U.S. Surgeon General's report notes that there are no safe levels of exposure to secondhand smoke. That said, property owners/managers without comprehensive tobacco policies are often put at odds with tenants, who can find themselves in conflict with other tenants, over the insidious nature of tobacco smoke or electronic smoking aerosol.
As a tenant in a rental property, you have the right to live free of a significant cause of illness in the home and a major cause of preventable death in the United States: secondhand smoke.
The Dangers of Secondhand Smoke in Your Home
For Property Owners
Renting smoke-free is a growing trend in multi-unit housing. A smoke-free policy is legal, and is NOT discriminatory. Owners/managers can designate individual units, entire buildings (recommended), all units (recommended) or an entire campus (recommended) and are required by Nebraska state law to designate any multi-unit housing enclosed common spaces (hallways, entryways, courtyards, workout rooms, etc.) to be free of secondhand smoke.
Property Owner Obligations:
For assistance with implementing a smoke-free policy contact: MOTAC at (402) 807-5466 or Antonia Correa - Spanish (402) 559-3670.