Potential residents of high-rises in New Jersey and New York City will be able to tell at a glance if the building they're considering living in is 100 percent smoke-free.

Flickr User Rutlo

The American Cancer Society's Healthy High-Rises program recognizes multi-unit residential buildings that have a smoke-free policy prohibiting smoking anywhere inside the building. Buildings that meet the criteria are given a highly visible Healthy High-Rises decal for display in the front window indicating that the residence is smoke-free. Smoke-free housing has become an increasing trend in the real estate industry reflecting the demand of non-smoking consumers.

"Secondhand smoke permeates walls and crevices in multi-unit residential housing and poses a significant health threat," said Dr. Fred Jacobs, Chief Medical Officer, American Cancer Society of New York and New Jersey. "While health is a major concern, so is money. Smoke-free buildings are cost-effective because they require less maintenance and result in happier tenants. Healthy high-rise apartment buildings are attractive to non-smokers which are the overwhelming majority of people in the New Jersey and New York area."

"It's also important to send out a message to children that community leaders do not support cigarette smoking under any circumstance. It's of great importance that kids not begin smoking in the first place. It's very hard to stop once you've become addicted to tobacco and nicotine, but it's much easier if you never start," said Jacobs.

Smoke-free multi-unit residential housing is an increasing trend. Research shows that 75 percent of non-smokers prefer no-smoking policies where they live and 50 percent said they would pay more to live in a smoke-free residence.

"In concert with Related's commitment to sustainability and the wellness of its residents, we are proud to have proactively instituted a smoke-free initiative across the country," said Jeff Brodsky, President of Related Management. "Since 2009, Related Management has rolled-out its Smoke-Free Initiative to 125 apartment buildings representing approximately 20,000 residences. Sixteen of these buildings are in New York City and New Jersey. We are grateful to the American Cancer Society for its recognition of our efforts and their work to facilitate the further improvement of air quality and a healthier living environment for residents of multifamily buildings."

In addition to the window decal, Healthy High-Rise buildings can receive a framed certificate and materials on smoking cessation to share with residents.

For more information about how your building can become a Healthy High-Rise, contact the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345 or log onto smokefreehousingny.org.