Step 4: Implementing your smoke-free policy

Once you know exactly what you want out of your smoke-free policy and are confident that enough of your stakeholders are on board, the next step is to get your bylaw passed and put into effect. Follow the necessary procedures to adopt a bylaw and communicate well throughout. Plan ahead for a smooth implementation process.

Once your policy has been drafted, you may want to have it reviewed by legal counsel (if appropriate). Decide the best time to address the special resolution for a smoke-free bylaw, whether it be at an annual or special general meeting. Follow all necessary procedures to call the meeting and send out a copy of the smoke-free policy to members in advance of the meeting. Be prepared to discuss anticipated challenges and arguments against the policy.

Consider presenting the smoke-free bylaw by separate resolution. Given that a smoke-free bylaw can be a controversial provision, do not jeopardize an entire bylaw amendment package because of this provision.

Filing your bylaw

If and when the resolution is passed and agreed to in writing by two-thirds of those entitled to vote, the corporation must file a copy of the new bylaw with the Registrar who will make a memorandum of the filing on the condo plan. At that point the bylaw will officially take effect unless an implementation date is otherwise specified within the bylaw.

Check to be sure that the condo plan has been updated by the Registrar and inform owners and residents of the new bylaw as soon as possible once approved.

Phasing in your policy

If your policy will be implemented in phases, make sure you clearly communicate the timelines and ultimate scope of the policy to current and prospective residents. If your policy includes an exemption clause, inform prospective residents that:

  1. there are residents who have been exempted from the policy and are permitted to smoke in the building, and you can’t guarantee a completely smoke-free environment until the transition is complete. Be sure to explain why an exemption of certain residents was chosen.

  2. while smoking is permitted in exempted units, complaints of second-hand smoke will still be addressed if it is found that a significant amount of smoke is infiltrating their homes. If there are significant complaints, you will likely have to implement mitigation efforts.

Download a sample letter that notifies residents about the new policy.

Spread the word about your smoke-free policy anywhere you currently list information about your properties.


  • your application form
  • your website
  • your portfolio in third-party directories
  • other marketing and advertising materials

Remember to register your smoke-free property in our online directory!

Support for smokers

Demonstrating support for owners and residents who smoke builds goodwill when implementing a smoke-free policy. While the purpose of going smoke-free is primarily to protect your property and residents, there may be people who would like information about quitting, or who will want to cut back on the amount they smoke to make compliance with the policy easier.

There may be an opportunity to partner with a local public health organization to provide cessation resources and services. Contact Alberta Health Services to find out about cessation resources in your community and then post information in common areas. Let all your residents know that there is support available to help them quit or cut back if any of them are interested.

Check out and for local cessation tools and resources.


Develop and post signs about your smoke-free policy. Signage will serve as a reminder for everyone, particularly guests and service people. Post signs at all public entrances to your smoke-free buildings, outside elevators, on unit doors, in common areas and throughout the grounds to clearly indicate where smoking is and isn’t allowed.

Download a sample no-smoking sign.

Don’t send mixed messages. Remove ashtrays except those in designated smoking areas.

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