Smoke-free condos on the rise in B.C.
More than 100 apartment buildings have completely banned in suite smoking
Smoke-free Housing B.C. has been pushing for a ban on smoking in buildings for 10 years, but advocates say the concept is starting to take off with more than 100 apartment buildings now entirely smoke-free.
Your right to smoke stops when the air hits my nose, and my mouth and my lungs- Provincial Health Officer Dr Perry Kendall
Less than 15 per cent of B.C. residents smoke, but nearly half live in close quarters in condos and apartment buildings.
Asthma sufferer Kathryn Tanaka says one smoker can affect a lot of neighbours.
"Imagine lying on your couch, watching TV, breathing in smoke," she said. "Imagine having dinner breathing in smoke, going to bed, breathing in smoke, working out everyday breathing in smoke. That essentially is my life right now."
Jack Boomer with Smoke-Free Housing B.C. says it's an issue that's gaining traction.
"As people recognize in their workplace, that they are protected by second hand smoke, they want to go home to their castle and be protected from second hand smoke as well."
Smoke-free increasingly popular
Bunny Porteous with First Service Residential Property Management says the condo they manage in Yaletown went smoke-free.
"Over 70 per cent of the people considered that this was a benefit to the building and a benefit to all the owners."
However, disputes do happen.
Another Coal Harbour condo that went smoke-free a couple of years ago still has five to seven violators a month and is regularly levying $200 fines.
Jeremy Allison says smokers are running out of places to go.
"If I can't smoke outside, then you know, you're paying a lot of money to live in an apartment and you're not allowed to smoke."
But Provincial Health Officer Dr Perry Kendall points out, second hand smoke in a building also prevents others from enjoying their apartments too.
"Your right to smoke stops when the air hits my nose, and my mouth and my lungs," he said.
Smoke-Free B.C. is encouraging people to push landlords to change the rules in rental buildings. It says all it takes is the agreement of 75 per cent of the condo's owners.
With files from Kirk Williams