Langley mom Naomi Baker, with daughter Faith, who inspired Baker to launch a public campaign for tougher anti-smoking rules governing multi-unit residential buildings.. File photo

More than naming a week is needed to tackle second-hand smoke, B.C. woman says

Langley mom who campaigned for tougher anti-smoking laws applauds gesture but wants more

Naomi Baker thinks it’s fine that the provincial government declared the last week in June to be “Smoke-Free Multi-Unit Housing” week, but it would be even better if the government actually did something about the issue.

“That’s [declaring a week] different than having legislation passed,” observed Baker, the Langley mom who waged a nearly three-year battle to make her condominium a smoke-free building.

“We fought really tenaciously, and it took a lot to get it to pass.”

She was reacting to a call by the Clean Air Coalition of BC, which includes the B.C. Lung Association, Heart and Stroke Foundation, and Canadian Cancer Society, for provincial action during the week to make it easier to ban smoking.

After her daughter, Faith, was born, Baker fought to stop second-hand smoke leaking into their unit through the walls and fixtures, setting up an online petition and also collecting signatures on paper.

In April, Baker and her husband delivered a petition for stronger anti-smoking rules to provincial housing minister Selina Robinson in Victoria.

Robinson seemed receptive, Baker said, but she is still waiting to hear more.

“I don’t have an update as to how [the rules would be changed],” Baker said.

Whatever sort of regulation emerges, Baker stressed, it shouldn’t allow smoking even when a majority of people in a multi-unit building support it.

“Ninety-nine per cent can’t decide that the one per cent has to suck it up and die of second-hand-smoke,” Baker commented.

READ MORE: Langley mother delivers smoking-ban petition to legislature

Coalition spokesperson Jack Boomer declared existing regulations make it “extraordinarily difficult, time-consuming, costly, and seldom effective for residents, strata management, and landlords, to effect change on their own.”

“We need government intervention,” Bommer maintained.

“Creation of more 100 per cent smoke-free multi-unit housing options should be a health promotion priority.”

Boomer repeated the coalition call for “practical, positive change” pointing to recommendations outlined in a coalition-sponsored report released in 2016.

One of the Coalition’s recommendations includes making it possible, under BC’s Residential Tenancy Act (RTA), for landlords to implement premises-wide no smoking policies that apply to all tenants, with no grandfathering requirements.

Tenants who smoke would be given six months to comply.

The Coalition report also recommends all new strata buildings should be automatically smoke-free, as opposed to current regulations which requires 75 per cent of owners to approve a ban.

One in two British Columbians live in multi-unit dwellings, and given the high cost of housing, and our aging population, the proportion of people living one atop and aside one another will continue to grow, Boomer estimated.

.

_________________________________

Is there more to this story?

Email: dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

Just Posted

Tofino opens B.C’s first-ever Express & Go recycling station

New unstaffed facility allows residents to drop-off pre-bagged recyclables without sorting them.

New RCMP detachment officially opens in Tofino

“This is a great facility and I think all of you here should be proud of it.”

VIDEO: Saanich resident shocked when trespasser licks security camera, rummages through mail

‘I found the situation really bizarre,’ said the Gordon Head resident

Tofino’s West Coast Winter Music series warms hearts

Kicking off their 20th anniversary celebration is Pablo Cardenas’ Trio on Nov. 2.

Ucluelet’s Edge-to-Edge Marathon turns 20 this weekend

Over 400 runners get set for half-marathon or 10K distances.

Second young woman dies after rollover crash near Williams Lake

‘Someone’s going to get her heart, which is awesome, because she has the best heart in the world’

Google searches for ‘how to vote’ surge on Election Day

Interest spikes despite social media campaign by Elections Canada

Union says Western Forest Products refuses to budge from ‘unreasonable concessions’

According to a press release, both parties met on Oct. 16, 18, 19, and 20.

Alberta man pleads guilty, fined for hunting without a licence in North Island

It’s the responsibility of each hunter or angler to know whether they are considered a B.C. Resident.

B.C. mayor apologizes for removal of Queen’s portrait from council chambers

‘I prefer to be inclusive of the many aspects of our history’

Alcohol a possible factor in crash that killed 17-year-old girl near Williams Lake

A pickup truck left the road and rolled over on Highway 20 on the weekend

Rare bird spotted in Victoria draws enthusiasts from across the continent

It’s the first time a yellow-browed warbler has been reported on the mainland of North America

B.C. woman must pay $1,000 after unleashed dog bites another

Owner should never have left Bibi unattended, tribunal member wrote

Most Read