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 on the best time to address a 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, you would not want to jeopardize an entire bylaw amendment package because of this provision.

Filing your bylaw

If and when the resolution is passed and confirmed by the members, the cooperative must file the bylaw with the director within 60 days of the date the bylaw or amendment comes into force.

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 members. If your policy includes an exemption clause, inform prospective members 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 other units.

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 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 members and indicate to visitors that the building and/or area is smoke-free.

Signs should be posted at all public entrances to smoke-free buildings, and can also be posted at 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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