At least one Manitoba Housing resident says she wants smoking to be banned inside the province's public housing developments but others argue that a ban would intrude on their lives.

Pat Cook, who lives in a Manitoba Housing complex in Winnipeg's Gilbert Park neighbourhood, says she is fed up with cigarette smoke seeping into her suite.


Manitoba Housing resident Pat Cook says one of her granddaughters refuses to visit her Gilbert Park home because of the smoky stench inside the building. (CBC)

Cook, who has asthma, told CBC News she is forced to hold her breath every time she ventures into the halls to retrieve her mail.

"It's just unreal. I have to open my windows so I can actually breathe, because it gets so stenchy," she said in an interview.

Cook said the smell has become so bad, one of her granddaughters won't visit her place anymore.

"I have other grandchildren that will come here and they'll say, 'Baba, are you smoking?' And I'll say, 'No. It stinks in here,'" she said.

Cook said her neighbours should smoke outside. But another Manitoba Housing resident, Billy Kennedy, says he disagrees.

"Your home, I feel, is kind of being invaded," he said. "If you're being told what you should and should not do in your house … that's just not right to me."

On Jan. 1, Maine became the first U.S. state to ban smoking in all of its public housing developments. In Canada, about 5,000 affordable housing units in Ontario are smoke-free.

The Manitoba government says it is looking at the issue of smoking inside public housing buildings, but a spokesperson told CBC News that officials don't want to unfairly intrude on people's homes.