kerrostalo parvekkeita

Balcony smoking

Information about how housing corporations can apply for a smoking ban in their apartments.

The Tobacco Act allows housing corporations to submit an application requesting the municipality to impose a ban that forbids smoking on the balconies of individual apartments in a building belonging to the housing corporation, in the outdoor areas to which the apartments have access, and inside apartments. The decision to apply for a smoking ban must be made by majority vote in the general meeting of the housing corporation.

The municipality must impose a smoking ban if, due to structural or other conditions, tobacco smoke regularly spreads to an outdoor area belonging to another apartment or inside another apartment.

Smoking may only be banned if the spreading of smoke cannot be prevented by repairs or other reasonable measures. Before imposing the ban, the occupant of the apartment must be given the opportunity to take measures to prevent the smoke from spreading. 

The prohibition of smoking inside an apartment does not apply to the use of electronic cigarettes. 

According to the Finnish Real Estate Federation, the cost of the administrative processing of smoking ban applications was between 500 and 1,500 euros in cases reported by 2018. These costs are affected by factors such as the number of working hours required for the administrative process. For this reason, housing companies should prepare their smoking ban applications carefully in advance. Housing companies should contact the local authority already before applying for the smoking ban.

Section 79 Imposition of smoking bans in housing corporations

A housing corporation may submit an application requesting the municipality to impose a ban that forbids smoking on the balconies of individual apartments in a building belonging to the housing corporation, in the outdoor areas to which the apartments have access, and inside apartments. The occupants of the apartments referred to in the application shall be heard before submitting the application.

The municipality shall impose a smoking ban on the areas referred to in the application if, due to structural or other conditions, tobacco smoke may other than occasionally spread from the area in question to another balcony, to an outdoor area belonging to another apartment, or inside another apartment.

Smoking may be prohibited inside an apartment only if the spreading of smoke cannot be reasonably prevented by repairing or altering the structures and the occupant of the apartment has been, prior to the ban, given an opportunity to take measures to prevent the smoke from spreading.

The prohibition of smoking inside an apartment does not apply to the use of electronic cigarettes.

The municipality shall withdraw the smoking ban upon the housing corporation’s request if there are no longer grounds for the ban due to changed circumstances. The ban may also be withdrawn upon the occupant’s application if the housing corporation does not apply for withdrawal of the ban despite significant changes in the circumstances.

Further provisions on how to submit an application for a smoking ban or its withdrawal, and on how to record the hearing organised by the housing corporation in the application, may be issued by government decree.

Read the Tobacco Act in full in Finlex.