A number of legal ruling give landlords rights to restrict smoking. In 2011, Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 332: Authorizing Landlords to Prohibit Smoking in Rental Units into law. Landlords now have clear authority to create smoke-free policies.

Landlords have the legal right to set limits on how a tenant may use rental property –for instance, by restricting guest, noise and pets. A “no-smoking” term is similar to a “no pets” restriction in the lease – another way for a landlord to protect his or her property.

There is NO constitutional right to smoke. No court has ever recognized smoking as a fundamental right nor has any court ever found smokers to be a protected class. Smoking is a behavior, not a condition of birth.


To learn more about creating a no smoking policy for your community read How Landlords Can Prohibit Smoking in Rental Housing

Contact the agency listed in your area, they can help you:

  • Survey your tenants
  • Draft policy language
  • Provide quit smoking help to tenants
  • Offer tips on how to implement and enforce your policy

Other Useful Resources

American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation – The Benefits of Smoke-Free Buildings

Good for Tenants – Good for Landlords

Financial Burden of Smoking in Apartments

National Center for Healthy House – Reasons to Explore Smoke-Free Housing

Governor Brown Signs Senate Bill 332: The New Smoke-Free Housing Law -American Lung Association Statement

Americans with Disabilities Act: Effective Legal Protection Against Secondhand Smoke Exposure: A Law Synopsis by the Tobacco Control Legal Consortium

The Tobacco Education Clearing House of California has various types of signs and stickers that can be custom ordered for your business. For more information visit www.tobaccofreecatalog.org or call 1-800-258-9090 ext. 103 to order a catalog.

Resources from the Housing Industry

National Apartment Association: Clearing the Air -Industry Discusses Trends Towards Smoke-Free Housing

California Apartment Association: Tobacco Smoking at Residential Rental Properties April 2008

California Apartment Association: Apartment Owners Benefits from Smoke-Free Housing Policies April/ May 2010

San Diego County Apartment Association: Tobacco Smoking at Residential Rental Properties