Day 27: Enforcing smoke-free Airbnb room in the wake of marijuana legalisation

Level 2
Ottawa, Canada

Day 27: Enforcing smoke-free Airbnb room in the wake of marijuana legalisation

Thank you @Lizzie for inviting me to share my experience with hosting. It is Day 27 of our celebration month. Reading from the previous posts of other hosts who participated, I have learnt a lot from the experiences and pieces of advice shared in this forum that I wouldn’t have known otherwise.


To start with, I am a new host, barely started this October 2019 and have so far hosted 14 stays with one of the stays being long-term (over a month). At first, I was excited that I have finally started a project I had stalled for 3 years plus. As bookings started coming in, I would respond joyfully and then comes in the stress of making sure guests are checked in. All is going on well so far, but I have encountered a serious problem that I wanted to share here for others to be aware as well.


Often, we indicate that rooms are non-smoking, but I am realising that Guests don’t pay attention to those desired restrictions. I had one guest who was staying for 2 nights and smoked marijuana in the room. I woke up in the morning and passing in the corridor and there was this unusual smell until I went closer to the guest room and the young lad was smoking. I got lost between courtesy and my morning rush of going to work and missed the chance to advise the guest immediately and even if I would do, the guest was leaving the next day. Now for those reading, cannabis use is legal in Canada, since 17 October 2019 and some lads just smoke having in mind that the law is on their side.


Since then not only I have updated the information to read strictly that no – smoking, I have also bought non-smoking stickers and placed in the rooms. What I wanted to share with other hosts dealing with same scenarios though is to be careful in the way you treat/interact with marijuana users for there can be a thin line of discrimination when addressing this with guests. Most of the marijuana users are sensitive to being discriminated. While enforcing non-smoking rules, it good to know that under the law a housing provider would still have a duty to accommodate a person who smokes or vapes this being understood to be able to provide alternative places for smoking such as balconies or terraces.


It will be nice to hear from other hosts how they deal with this.

20 Replies 20
Level 10
Reno, NV

@Thomas1188,  I don't know this for sure but I wouldn't think the discrimination law you referred to would keep you from not allowing smoking in your house. Even though I think the whole second hand smoke thing is a crock it is considered bad for a person's health and I wouldn't think any government would keep you from not allowing it in your house. Again thats just my opinion not fact.                                                                                              Regarding the marijuana, again I don't know what the Canadian law is but in Nevada it was recently legalized but it can only be done under certain conditions, one of which is it cant be done in public or in view of the public, in other words you can't sit on your front porch and smoke it if people can see you doing it. Another condition is it can't be done around children, not just in front of them but not in the area. I would think Canadian law has conditions as well. You might want to find out exactly what the law is and if there are stipulations from allowing them to do it in your house I would post them in your room. I myself have it in the house rules that smoking of anything is not allowed. I do have a smoking area behind the house that cant be seen by neighbors or people walking down the street but I don't know if anybody has smoked pot back there. I would be ok with that though as long as they disposed of their roaches or weren't back there hacking their lungs up. 

@Sam397  From what I've read, in Canada now, you can smoke pot anywhere you can smoke cigarettes. So yes, you can certainly sit on your front porch and smoke it. 

Level 10
Albuquerque, NM

@Thomas1188 I am a medical cannabis user and even I do not smoke pot in my home! Nor do I allow anyone else to smoke or vape anything inside. My home is located near and Air Force Base, airport and a National Lab, so I frequently have guests working temporarily at these places that have a very strict no tolerance policy concerning marijuana. As in, they could be fired on the spot just smelling of second hand pot!  


It is my home and my rules and each guest signs a form agreeing to follow my house rules upon arrival. I do have designated areas outside for those who indulge in tobacco or marijuana, but if they violate the indoor smoking/ vaping rule, they will be kicked out immediately, as per the rules they signed, and a very bad review given to them. 


You might consider creating house rules that your guests sign, too.  It does not mean they will not violate the rules, just makes it more likely they will follow the rules and will also give you a feeling of empowerment, if they do violate your rules.



Level 10
Rawai, Thailand

Try smoking it in Thailand and youre looking at jail so we have a strick No Smoking and No Drugs policy which the guest signs and we can remove the guest within 24 hours in Thailand.

Having said that we do allow people to smoke outside or around the pool, but we do tell them.

We do have an apartment there it's a different ball game we have to warn them not to smoke in the apartment it does have a smoke alarm that is wired to a central control room we as owners get fined so we have no choice to pass that on to the guest that set it off and they are told when they check in.

I dont want to discriminate but the Chinese are the worst for smoking

Level 2
Los Angeles, CA

@Thomas1188This is not to say you shouldn't have an across-the-board no-smoking policy, but in regards to the guy who has already smoked inside your unit, there's nothing to worry about.


Marijuana smoke is substantially different from cigarette smoke. It won't permanently infest your space or get into the upholstery/carpet. Yes, the smell will linger for a few hours, and seep outside of the unit, but pot smoke dissipates quickly. If there's a smell, it signifies recent smoking, open ashtrays, or open containers of fresh weed. Vapor smell is even more elusive. It dissipates within minutes of stopping.


Tons of pot has been smoked inside our apartment for 9 years running (when we're not hosting), and there is zero olfactory evidence. We have no smoking checked in our listing, but if someone were to ask permission to smoke weed in our apartment I wouldn't have a problem with it.


Anyway, if that was your concern, I just wanted to put your mind at ease.

Level 10
Zagreb, Croatia

Regarding fresh-air-enviroment  hjaooo ... don't..... what about your new furniture emitting VOC / formaldehide, what about pollution from vehicles under your balcony , bleach/detergents/softeners you use to wash your sheets, deodorants you spray all over you, air freshners, chemicals in your new mattress, carpet and sofa... etc etc... ?


We do allow smoking in our Airbnb and after 2,5 years in business I never sent smoke (or any other) smell after my smokers guests left. I love them - at least they open the windows few times a day and the air is 100 times better after them then after most of non smokers who never vent and leave the humidity and smell of  cooking  , sweat , toilet and shoes . But, no problem... with an exception of some spicy cooking smells all other odours disappear in few minutes after the windows are opened


300 reviews for 2 apartments and not a single one mentioned a cigarette smell ! In fact, few days ago we received a message from our guest saying : "Branka, you were right, my worries about smoke smell were unfounded 🙂 "


And don't worry, you will not die from secondary smoking   🙂






Happy New year :))