Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is St. Paul’s Smoking Policy Disclosure ordinance?
A: The ordinance requires sellers of property in “common interest communities” to disclose to prospective buyers the smoking policy of their association on a Smoking Policy Sale Disclosure Report. The report will be provided to prospective buyers as a component of the Truth in Sale of Housing report that must be completed by the seller before a property is offered for sale.
Q: What types of properties are included in the ordinance?
A: This includes all properties in “common interest communities” which include condominiums, retirement communities, townhomes, and other housing developments that share legal documents and are governed by a homeowners’ association, often through an elected board.
Q: Why did the St. Paul City Council adopt this new ordinance?
A: Concerns about the harmful impact of commercial tobacco secondhand smoke within condos was first brought to Councilmember Noecker’s attention in 2016. After years of deliberation and consultation with stakeholders this ordinance was introduced to empower prospective homebuyers with pertinent information about the air quality of their future home.
All homebuyers should have the freedom to choose a home free from health hazards, including second and third-hand commercial tobacco smoke. Secondhand smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals, 70 of which are known to cause cancer in humans. Smoke easily seeps into neighboring apartments and poses a serious health risk to other residents. Smoking in multi-unit housing is also a significant fire risk and can lead to decreased property values. For more information about the benefits of smoke-free policies visit: mnsmokefreehousing.org.
Q: How will condo owners be notified of this new ordinance?
A: Saint Paul realtors will educate sellers about the ordinance when they are approached.
Q: Who should residents call with questions or concerns about this ordinance?
A: Residents should call 651-266-8989. Once the disclosure form is available, it will be posted on the website of the Department of Safety and Inspections where you can download, print and mail back to them. Any technical TISH related problems can be routed to TISH Program Manager Vicki Sheffer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Is Councilmember Noecker available to speak to my association board about this topic?
A: Councilmember Noecker would be happy to speak to your association about the ordinance. Please reach out to her office at email@example.com or by calling 651-266-8620.
Q: My condo association is interested in adopting a smoke-free policy. Is there support available?
A: Yes. A variety of free online tools and educational resources are available for homeowner’s associations here: mnsmokefreehousing.org. Limited direct technical support is available. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions. Funding supported by the Saint Paul – Ramsey County Public Health Department and the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP).
Q: Is there free tobacco cessation support for residents who may want to quit?
A: QuitPartnerTM Services offers free programs to help Minnesota residents quit commercial tobacco, including smoking, vaping and chewing through one-on-one coaching by phone, text, and email support. Quit medications can also be delivered right to your door. The program is free and can be accessed by calling 1-800-QUITNOW (784-8669) or visiting quitpartnermn.com/.