Smoke-Free Housing at BHA

Page Index: Smoke-Free PolicyReporting a Smoking Violation | Smoking-Free Living Resources

A message about the effects of smoking from our 2015 BHA Youth Health Ambassadors in their video titled, Smoking is Your Biggest Opponent.

Smoking is one of the biggest health risks in your home. Smoking is not only bad for you but, it also affects others through secondhand smoke. There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Children and those with breathing problems like asthma are especially sensitive to the effects of secondhand smoke. Smoking is also a major cause of fires within multi-family buildings. Boston Housing Authority (BHA) implemented a Smoke-Free Housing Policy on September 30, 2012, which prohibits smoking in resident apartments. If you are a BHA resident, see how you can report a smoking violation.

What Does the Smoke-Free Policy Mean?

Smoke-free housing means that no one is permitted to smoke anywhere inside the apartment building or outside within 25 feet of the buildings. The non-smoking policy applies to every member of the household, as well as all visitors. This policy does not mean that residents who smoke cannot reside in the housing properties – they just cannot smoke in non-smoking designated areas.

Violating the policy by smoking in non-designated areas is a lease violation and could result in eviction or a fine. While quitting smoking can be difficult, there are resources available to help. If this is something you are interested in, see your management office regarding available services to help you quit.

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Reporting a Smoking Violation

It is important that if you see someone violating the Smoke-Free Policy, that you report them to the BHA in order for us to assure that everyone is complying with the Smoke-Free Policy which is a part of their lease with BHA. People (staff, residents, guests) can make a report by sending an email, making a telephone call, or speaking with staff in the managerment office.  The email address or telephone number to make a report are slightly different depending on where the smoking violation takes place.  Please consult the following list for what phone number or email to use to make a report or click here for a printable version.   Whether a report comes in by email, phone, or in person, it will be entered into our database and shared with the relevant manager for followup.

Region 1: Call 617-988-5061 or send an email to if you live in one of these developments: Amory, Anne M. Lynch at Old Colony, Camden, Codman, Franklin Field, Groveland, Hailey Apts. (formerly Bromley Heath), Lenox, Lower Mills, Rockland, Roslyn, Spring St., Walnut Park

Region 2: Call 617-988-5062 or send an email to if you live in one of these developments: Alice Taylor, Annapolis, Ashmont, Ausonia, Barkley Apts. (formerly Cathedral), Bellflower, Charlestown, Foley, Mary Ellen McCormack, Monsignor Powers, St. Botolph, Torre Unidad, West Newton, West Ninth St., Whittier

Region 3: Call 617-988-5063 or send an email to if you live in one of these developments: Archdale, Davison, Fairmount, Frederick Douglass, Gallivan, Hampton House, Hassan, Holgate, Malone, Martin Luther King, JJ Meade, Orient Heights, Pasciucco, Peabody/Englewood, Pond St. (also known as MM Collins), South Street, Washington Manor, West Broadway

Region 4: Call 617-988-5064 or send an email to if you live in one of these developments: Commonwealth, Eva White, Faneuil, General Warren, Heritage, Highland Park, JJ Carroll, Patricia White, State Condos, 91-95 Washington Street

Non-Smoking Violation Tracking Database

The non-smoking violation tracking database was activated April 1, 2016.  The first full year of data covers April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017 and there were a total of 192 smoking violations reported in the database that included approximately 93 closed due to insufficient evidence, 48 public reminders, 36 private conferences, and 15 with followup pending. Click here to see data from the Non-Smoking Violation Tracking Database including: 1. number of violations reported by month; 2. by location: in unit, common areas, outside within 25 feet of building; 3. by reporting method: email, phone, in person; 4. by enforcement actions taken: insufficient evidence, private conference, pending, and public reminder. The second year of data covers April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018 and there were another 192 smoking violations reported across the BHA portfolio.  Of these 22 were responded to with public reminders (handing out copies of the non-smoking policy, posting non-smoking signs), 61 closed to insufficient evidence, 20 private conference-one held, 2 private conference-two held.  In addition there are 87 cases for follow-up that include: 18 private conference-one, 4 private conference-two, 1 project-based voucher with legal, and 74 with follow-up pending.  Of the 74 with follow-up pending approximately 50 reports concern two cases.

Section 8 tenant or Landlord seeking more information:

If you are Section 8 tenant or landlord seeking more information on going smoke-free take a look at Boston Public Health Commission's page on Smoke Free Homes. See additional Smoke-Free Living Resources below.

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Smoking-Free Living Resources

BHA Non-Smoking Policy Guidebook for Implementation

For the Boston Housing Authority Non-Smoking Policy Guidebook for Implementation, click here, contains information on non-smoking policy in public housing lease, integration of policy into standard operating procedures, examples of training offered to staff and residents along with an assessment of change in knowledge and includes attachments with examples of manager agreement, and signage with reporting options.

List of Tobacco Treatment Programs Serving Boston Residents
(and others)

Free onsite Smoking Cessation Program

The BHA is offering free stop smoking assistance for anyone who is interested in trying to quit. Sessions include counseling and free nicotine patches for those who medically qualify.

For more information contact Christine Coscia, Tobacco Treatment Specialist at: 617-750-1343. is a resource website from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health providing many resources around smoke-free living, including the following:

Massachusetts Smokers’ Helpline
A free and confidential telephone counseling service for Massachusetts residents who want help to end their tobacco use.

They also provide a lot of information on Smoke-Free Environments tailored for landlords, tenants and advocates of Smoke-Free Living including a How to Go Smoke-Free Guide for Landlords of Multi-Unit Housing.

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