Couple refuses to let condo go up in cigarette smoke

A couple in St. John's with a baby on the way are concerned about second-hand cigarette smoke seeping into their condominium.
Jayn Pretty and Ryan Peyton are tired of smelling cigarette smoke in their condominium. (Todd O'Brien/CBC)

A couple in St. John's with a baby on the way are concerned about second-hand cigarette smoke seeping into their condominium.

Ryan Peyton and Jayn Pretty recently moved into Westfield Condominiums on Blackmarsh Road.

But they've been dealing with a neighbour who smokes in the unit beneath them ever since.

Health concern

They said the smoke has been making its way into their condo, causing concern for their health and that of their unborn child.

"It comes up through the stairwell, the piping throughout the sink," said Pretty.

"It kind of concentrates in certain areas. Sometimes when you come in the porch it smells like someone is physically smoking in our unit."

The couple said they don't always smell the smoke, but they feel any exposure is a health hazard.

"I'm asthmatic, and I also have severe allergies," Pretty said.

"Not only is it an issue with my illness, but I'm also pregnant so it's obviously a worry for me."

Peyton said the problem existed before Pretty moved in with him.

"When you do come in through the front door, it really does smell like someone is smoking here."

Taking action

Peyton and Pretty said they've been trying to find a solution.

"We had brought the issue up with our condo manager in a very professional manner," said Peyton.

"However, his stance is that it's (the man's) home and he feels that he has the right to smoke in it."

The couple said they can understand the man's situation, but they feel their health must be taken into consideration.

"I refuse to have to live with the smell of cigarette smoke any time in my house," said Peyton.

"It's a very potent smell. It still travels."

The couple also started a petition toward changing the rules for smoking at Westfield Condominiums.

"We've reached out to the owners — all sixteen," said Peyton.

"Those that we have reached, we've received a unanimous positive response to creating a smoke-free environment in the condos themselves."

The couple said they've gone door to door, and reached out by email to get people to sign the petition.

"We explained to them what the bylaws were," Peyton said.

"We have had a 100 per cent positive response."

Peyton said they aren't trying to get smokers evicted, but are asking those who do smoke to take it outside.

"We don't plan on moving. We do want to live here,"  he said.


In an interview with the CBC's Todd O'Brien, the man who lives beneath Peyton and Pretty said he's doing his best to accommodate those who live around him.

The man, who is 69 years old, is apparently trying to quit smoking.

The couple has since been told that if he does smoke, he will do it outside, and that he hasn't smoked inside since they asked him not to.

With files from Todd O'Brien