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

Ground breaking ceremony at site of new Ledgeview Golf Course clubhouse in Abbotsford

Construction slated to start in November with total budget of $6.8 million

SLIDESHOW: West Coast Women’s Show

Largest women’s show in Western Canada returns to TRADEX this weekend

Elizabeth’s Wildlife Centre in Abbotsford could use a boost

Non-profit centre launches online campaign to raise money for upgrades

Where should retail cannabis stores be located in Mission?

A public hearing regarding marijuana sales is set to take place in Mission on Oct. 21

One man in custody after heavily armed Abbotsford police units surround house while serving warrant

Police barricades blocked off roadway on Upper Maclure Road and Firhill Drive

Greta Thunberg meets with First Nations chief in Fort McMurray

Thunberg has turned her protest against climate change into a global movement

Canucks hang on for 3-2 win over Rangers in New York

Vancouver scores three times in first period

More beef products recalled due to possible E. coli contamination

The food safety watchdog has been investigating possible E. coli 0157:H7

B.C. VIEWS: How to get the best deal on your ICBC car insurance

ICBC slowly being dragged into the 21st century

Man killed in Richmond had ‘no record of criminality,’ IHIT says

Stephen Chong, 58, was found dead in his business

Pot legalization has gone ‘well’, but ‘yellow flags’ on vaping: task force chair

Canada legalized cannabis for non-medical use on Oct. 17, 2018,

Most Read