Do most assisted living communities allow smoking in rooms or smoking areas?

  1. Molly Dworken 10/16/2012 05:33PM

    Since there are no federal laws regarding smoking in public places, the rules and regulations for smoking in public places varies by state. Since an assisted living community is also a workplace, it may fall under workplace rules and regulations for smoking.

    Some assisted living communities may have designated smoking and non-smoking apartments or rooms. Others may ban smoking completely in residents' apartments.

    Most assisted living facilities ban smoking in public areas indoors, however, in states where smoking is permissible, there may be designated indoor or outdoor smoking areas. These areas should be situated so that smoke will not enter “smoke-free” areas. Outdoor smoking areas should be physically accessible, protected from the elements, and located in such a way that smoke won't enter non-smoking areas, including individual apartments. Assisted living staff should have a choice of whether or not to accompany residents to smoking areas.

    In all cases, assisted living communities must follow state or local laws regarding smoking in public places. In areas where there is no public smoking ban, an assisted living community may still institute its own “no smoking” policies for the health and well being of its residents and staff. Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are typically not (but may be) subject to the same rules and regulations as regular tobacco cigarettes.

    If you or your loved one entering assisted living refuses to quit smoking or switch to e-cigarettes, ask about smoking policies and the availability of smoking apartments before you choose the community that's best for you.