Condo associations, similar to rental properties, are going smoke-free across Iowa. Condo owners want both the health benefits of protection from secondhand smoke and to protect their investment. As a condo owner, use this guide to learn how to go smoke-free and protect your health and home.

Benefits of Smoke-Free Condos

In 2011, an estimated 17,600 smoking-material home structure fires caused 490 civilian deaths (19% of all home structure fire deaths), 1,370 civilian injuries and $516 million in direct property damage.14 Even if, thankfully, no fire has happened, cigarette use can damage surfaces with burn holes and stains as well as leave a film of tar and other materials and odors. There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke.

How to Make Your Condo Smoke-Free

Condo associations can go smoke-free. It requires good planning and communication with all members of the association.

  • Know how your condo board/association changes rules
  • Share information on the benefits to condo owners
  • Propose the rule change to the board/association

Find Partners Interested in a Smoke-Free Condo

Chances are that most residents prefer smoke-free housing. Eighty percent of Iowans are non-smokers and most if not all non-smokers do not want to be exposed to secondhand smoke.

  • Get to know your neighbors and discuss common interests and issues with the building
  • Find out if they also have had trouble with secondhand smoke
  • Share your concerns and materials about secondhand smoke

Find & Engage Fellow Residents

Discuss what type of rule would be the most appropriate for your building(s). If appropriate, hold a meeting to discuss how best to approach the condo leadership. If the board/association is not supportive, you may need a full vote of the condo membership.

Talk to the Condo Board

Once you have talked to other members, the next step is to reach out to the condo board. Learn the proper procedures for changing building rules before developing your proposal. Ask to be added to the board meeting agenda.

More resources are available through the Tobacco Control Legal Consortium - Legal Options for Condo Owners.