Make more apartments smoke-free, group tells government
"We know second-hand smoke is a health hazard; people should be protected from second-hand smoke"
The Clean Air Coalition of B.C. is calling on the provincial government to increase the supply of 100 percent smoke-free apartments and condos.
Clean Air Coalition director Jack Boomer says too many people live with second-hand smoke because apartment and condo buildings allow smoking and it's difficult to find buildings without that problem.
"People are protected in the workplace from second-hand smoke, but they're not protected in their home," the Clean Air Coalition's B.C. director, Jack Boomer, told On The Coast host Stephen Quinn.
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"It's time to move past the voluntary options of encouragement, and we're encouraging the provincial government to take legislative steps that would help protect people in their homes."
Boomner says the problem of second-hand smoke coming from neighbours is especially bad in hot summer months when smokers go outside to smoke, but non-smokers leave their windows open to let fresh air in — which can turn into not-so-fresh-air.
'Dozens' of complaints from affected people
Boomer says his group gets "dozens" of calls every week from people bothered by their neighbours smoking.
Boomer says talking to the offending neighbour is a good first step but says it might be necessary to escalate things by going to a landlord or strata council, especially if they're not comfortable talking to their neighbours.
His group is pushing for changes to help apartment and condo residents, such as a disclosure law that will inform buyers if smoking was permitted in an apartment they are considering purchasing or renting and how many smokers will live near them.
"There are places that are moving in that direction to say, we know second-hand smoke is harmful and we should do something about it," he said.
"This isn't about saying people can't smoke: it's about saying that where people are living in close proximity together, and we know second-hand smoke is a health hazard, people should be protected from second-hand smoke."
With files from CBC Radio One's On The Coast
To hear the full story, click the audio labelled: second-hand smoke a threat to apartment and condo residents, group says