Smoke-Free Policies Are Here To Stay

Smoke-free policies are becoming the industry standard as more and more property operators go smoke-free.                                  

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), housing trade associations, and the green movement all support smoke-free housing. Leaders in the housing industry agree that smoke-free is the wave of the future.

“For the most part, it’s heading in the direction that smoke-free policies are more mainstream,” according to Ken Szymanski of Apartment Association of North Carolina.

By adopting a smoke-free policy, you can take pride in being part of a growing movement.

Smoke-free Policies Are an Industry Trend

Gary Triplett, Assistant Director of Multifamily Management with Drucker & Falk, cites industry trends as a reason for taking properties smoke-free:

“We’re eager to develop other smoke-free communities, so as a company, we can start talking about being on the edge of the green movement and a non-smoking movement.”

Smoke-free policy is currently voluntary. Given the possibility that HUD may mandate smoke-free policies in the future, Leah Lyerly, Senior Vice President of Westminster Company, has spoken to the benefits of converting units to smoke-free sooner rather than later.

“It’s easier to choose to transition,” she says, rather than transitioning later on someone else’s terms.

Scott Alderman, President of Landura Management Associates, which owns and manages about 100 properties, frequently offers his expertise to other operators:

 “At the time, we were feeling our way through the dark. But now that we’ve gone smoke-free successfully, we’re the one that others call on.”

Even in North Carolina, a state with a rich tobacco history, many sectors of society are going smoke-free. Schools, hospitals, restaurants, bars, and most government workplaces are now smoke-free.

 “It made it easier because I knew in the hotel industry, many people went smoke-free without losing market share,” says Teresa Sandman of Gingko Residential of the decision to go smoke-free.

Partnering With Others for Smoke-Free Success

Sally Haile of DHIC speaks to the value of consulting with other owners:

“We didn’t go into it blindly. We had to read about it, see other peers doing it. We had to see what challenges and barriers we’d encounter. It’s been a win-win situation. It’s the right thing to do. HUD is recommending it. It’s being encouraged by the Triangle Apartment Association for the management side of things. It is in line with our green building goals and desire to create affordable homes that are also healthy. We’ve been getting input and advice from the state level.”

Organizations like the Southeastern Affordable Housing Management Association (SAHMA) periodically offer smoke-free workshops. At these seminars, operators can talk with others about their experiences.

By keeping up with the industry trend to go smoke-free, you can take pride in providing a great place to live.

Smart Tips

  • Contact property owners and managers in NC that have already gone smoke-free

  • Get input from other operators to learn their keys to success


Water Garden Village, one of DHIC’s properties, is smoke-free. Image credit: DHIC.

Smoke-free property owned by Landura Management Associates. Image credit: Scott Alderman.

NCDHHS, Division of Public Health