Tobacco-Free Assisted Living Resources (2016)

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Since the end of the 20st century, the U.S. has seen a large increase in smoke- and tobacco-free environments, including public places, workplaces, multi-unit apartment buildings and affordable housing.  State and local tobacco control laws often exempt residential care settings, including assisted living, adult foster care, nursing homes and similar environments, where many of the most vulnerable members of society live and where a disproportionate number of residents (and staff) either use tobacco products or are exposed to secondhand smoke. This collection of resources presents the legal landscape of state regulations and provides the public health rationale for reducing tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure in assisted living and similar residential care settings. These materials were prepared as part of a Public Health Law Center research grant (RC-2014-0017), funded by ClearWay Minnesota.


E-cigarettes and liquid

U.S. Assisted Living Smoke-free Regulations: A 50-State Review (2016)

A snapshot of the U.S. landscape of state smoke-free regulations in adult foster care homes and similar assisted living residences as of January 2016.

Elderly man smoking cigarette

Reducing Tobacco Use in Assisted Living: Obstacles and Opportunities – TRS (2017)

Journal article examining state laws and regulations that restrict tobacco use in assisted living residences, challenges in preventing tobacco use on the premises, and effective strategies to address these obstacles. Kerry Cork. 3 J Tobacco Regulatory Science 435-44 (2017): ClearWay Minnesota-funded research.

Elderly woman smoking cigarette

Addressing Tobacco Use in Residential Care Settings: Policies & Priorities (2016)

This webinar discusses the public health rationale for reducing tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure in assisted living and long-term care settings. Presenters describe the current tobacco control landscape in these environments and several regulatory options to address tobacco use in this population.

Disturbed individual with cigarette

Checklist for Implementing Tobacco Policies in Assisted Living Residences(2016)

This checklist contains guidelines to consider when drafting policies for addressing tobacco use and nicotine addiction in assisted living residences (including adult foster care).


Glossary of U.S. Assisted Living Terms (2016)

A glossary of common terms used in assisted living and residential care settings, including examples of programs and services found in many jurisdictions.

Disturbed individual with cigarette

U.S. Assisted Living Smoke-free Regulations: Frequently Asked Questions (2016)

Answers to several common questions about assisted living residences, including adult foster care homes and facilities, and policies to address tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure in these settings.

Disturbed individual with cigarette

Behind Closed Doors: The Hidden Epidemic of Nicotine Addiction in Assisted Living Residences (2016)

Poster summarizing findings from the Public Health Law Center’s ClearWay Minnesota research grant exploring strategies for reducing tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure in assisted living residences.

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Addressing Tobacco Use in Assisted Living Residences: Resources and Publications (2016)

Select compilation of tobacco use and cessation resources for assisted living residents, including those suffering from behavioral health disorders.