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

RCMP investigate two shootings in Surrey

Incidents happened in Whalley, Newton

Surrey Board of Trade fears SkyTrain expansion will impede other transit needs

‘We need transit improvements in all of Surrey,’ Anita Huberman says

Surrey RCMP, firefighters support Cloverdale boy’s lonely lemonade stand

Parker, 7, had few takers until Surrey first responders heard his call

North Delta Secondary teacher up for B.C. education award

Prabhjot Grewal is up for a Premier’s Award for Excellence in Education in the Outstanding New Teacher category

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

UPDATE: One dead after house fire in rural Maple Ridge

Dewdney Trunk Road closed, traffic being re-routed

Six inducted into BC Hockey Hall of Fame

The 26th ceremony in Penticton welcomed powerful figures both from on and off the ice

Highway 1 closed near Revelstoke

No estimated time for opening

CRA program to help poor file taxes yields noticeable bump in people helped

Extra money allows volunteer-driven clinics to operate year-round

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

How a Kamloops-born man helped put us on the moon

Jim Chamberlin did troubleshooting for the Apollo program, which led to its success

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in Canada’s airline industry

‘It’s a #MeToo dumpster fire…and it’s exhausting for survivors’

Man with gunshot wound walks into Langley hospital

Injury suffered in Surrey incident, police believe

Most Read

l -->