80% of People Living in MUDs Want to Live SMoke-free Affair with Smoke-free Housing Alice: Narrating the personal Anna I am not going away not by a long shot. The smoke-free housing saga continues Answers to Frequently Asked Questions including Grandfathering Anti-smoking champ honoured for PUSH Any defensive discussion indefensible April Lifting the Veil off of Quiet Enjoyment Arabian COUGHING Poster At the Core of Smoke-Free Housing Workplace violence and bullying ATTRIBUTE REQUIRED TO SUCCESSFULLY ACCOMPLISH BEING SMOKE-FREE AUTHORITIES for Smoke-free Housing BC HUMAN RIGHTS TRIBUNAL Decides Crescent Housing Societys Application To Dismiss Lacking in Substance Concreteness and Good Faith (Another Debacle) BC HUMAN RIGHTS TRIBUNAL hears first case on SHS in MUDs Monday April 2 – Wednesday April 4 2012 BREAKTHROUGH DECISION Smoke-Free Housing Cancer in non-smoker sparks legal action Australia CLEANING UP TOXIC ENVIRONMENTS COMMUNITY DISCUSSION FORM Comparing “big” and “too small to matter” crises and catastrophes Demand for non-smoking apartments next to impossible Do you struggle with the problem of drifting second-hand smoke in your home? What you can do looks like 2011 DO YOU STRUGGLE WITH THE PROBLEM OF SECONDHAND SMOKE DRIFT What Struggle Looks like Drewlo Holdings Building More Smoke-free Apartments DROs Ways to Strengthen a Bid for Smoke-free Housing Ethical Dilemma of Smoke-free Housing EX-SMOKERS ARE UNSTOPPABLE flash mob dance Fervent Wish for Smoke-free Housing Governance by Dysfunctional Boards How the Smoke-free Housing Initiative inadvertently opened up governance for public scrutiny Grandfathering How does it apply to smokers Grandfathering Smoke freely Grandfathering Smokes License to Smoke License for Abuse GROUNDHOG DAY PUSHing the Drift to Smoke-free Housing GROUNDHOG DAY 2012: Secondhand smoke from grandfathered smokers takes a wee hit How Provincial and Municipal Bylaws Apply for MUDs in BC HR DECISION ORDERS “METRO ONE” TO CEASE ITS DISCRIMINATION AND REFRAIN FROM COMMITTING A SIMILAR CONTRAVENTION IN THE FUTURE INJUNCTIVE RELIEF A court order to Do this and Stop doing that Inspiring story behind SMOKE-FREE CARS ACT 2007 knowledge exchange Krossa from Maple Ridge Dare Extend Ideation For Smoke-free Housing Lung cancer kills non-smoker McDaniels thank supporters Measuring second-hand smoke drift in non-smokers: Prove it Medical Marijuana NEWS ~ NEWS ~ NEWS London ON New Apartment Building Opts for Smoke-free and Utilizing Grants to Encourage Smoke-free Housing NICOTINE REPLACEMENT THERAPY YOUR TIME HAS COME NSRAs rebuttal of Harpers Gut of Federal Tobacco Control Program People imagining a smoke-free world Picture Worth a Thousand Words Premier Christy Clark announces Nicotine Replacement Therapies (NRT) Sense and scent-ability: Do you smell second-hand smoke in your home? SHS Is Not Simply An Issue Between Neighbours Slaying the Myth of Right-To-Smoke and In-My-Home SMOKE DAMAGE - Voices from the Front Lines of Tobacco Wars Smoke-free at Last Smoke-free housing Litany of motivations and obstructions Smoke-free Housing: An award winning direction Standardize your letters and claims: Make them all the same Steps to Designating Smoking Area in Common Areas and Avoiding Misrepresentation STORIES: Heart of the Matter Strata concedes failure to accommodate McDaniels TENANTS' FUME IN SMOKE-FEST ABOUT HUMAN RIGHTS COMPLAINT COSTING THOUSANDS The 'In-Perpetuity' of National Non-Smoking Week Thinking Petition? Draft a report instead. Trials Against Big Tobacco Reveal Internal Documents Stating Lethal Hazard Of Smoking And Environmental Tobacco Smoke TRIBUNAL GRANTS COMPLAINANTS' APPLICATION TO AMEND THEIR COMPLAINT Tribunal's Decision Reveals DEBACLE Urging Political Will VEN TI-LA-TION – exchanging stale noxious air with clean fresh air Weitzels and Willow Park Estates What has California's new smoke-free housing law to do with us Canadians? What makes normal sensible people become dysfunctional when they join a board and what turns CEOs or EDs into mini-dictators? Why Isn't Vancouver's OLYMPIC VILLAGE A Flagship for Smoke-free Housing? Why there is a PUSH for Sf Housing WOW You've come a long way baby Yukon Housing Corp’s smoke-free housing leaves smokers fuming YUKON NORTH OF ORDINARY™ TRUMPS NATURALLY BEAUTIFUL BC AGAIN Yukon's smoke-free housing comes into effect Jan 1 2012

Saturday, July 23, 2011

VEN TI-LA-TION – exchanging stale, noxious air, with clean, fresh air

Instilling a Fervent and Reverent Wish for Smoke-free Housing - Part XXII

Reverent condolences to Alice and the widower of an elderly, life long non-smoker who he buried today.
Alice relates how the woman died from pneumonia after contacting a cough. The hospital sent the sick woman home to her apartment to heal, an apartment flooded by secondhand smoke. No one asked whether her apartment was smoke-free.
She and her husband complained bitterly for the last ten years about all the  secondhand smoke in their apartment, to no avail. Irony of this situation, the neighbour smoking lady attended the funeral and cowered, upset by it all. When Alice hugged the husband of the deceased woman, he said, “I so regret not moving, or taking legal action.” Read more about April and  Alice's situation.
Smell mildew or mold. Report it, and see how fast management responds and does something. In my case, by the next morning, management resolved the matter. It wasn't investigated, but it was resolved. Now, it could be as a result of becoming infamous. However, this quick response extends to others, and beyond our knowing each other. In a workplace situation, management moved a whole office in one month.
Report cigarette or marijuana smoke.
Report that the ventilation spreads cigarette or marijuana smoke.
Enter human rights and nuisance claims, and a smoking paper trail of emails, letters, professional opinions, reports, and affidavits piling up as the procedure winds itself towards a showdown. Over the next two months, and some three years later, more than six situations play out. Most are private settlement meetings for both human rights and nuisance, and most involve stratas. Two are before the courts.
But really – the legal route with private settlements can only help a limited number of people, reinvent the wheel.
At issue - not ventilation!
For some cities, and you can check this general statement through community profiling, the boom in apartments began 30-50 years ago. Imagine building codes, ventilation standards, and our notions of secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke was not a consciousness-raising issue like it is now.
Now, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), along with it's international chapters (BC), stipulate there is no safe level of secondhand smoke, and there is no ventilation system built to protect. No reputable HVAC company would challenge these current standards.
Yet affidavits (read sworn affidavits) from management state, “air intakes were located at an acceptable level from venting pipes and meeting National Building Code requirements. We have asked our HVAC service to provide a letter confirming this.”
     How I respond: “I really hope you produce that letter to support your claim. Pictures show something entirely different."  Amazing what Google Maps reveal about rooftops.
Pictures reveal what a thousand words cannot.  One picture shows a huge crack, four foot by two inch, in the cement flooring, revealed when the carpet had to be taken up because of a water leak.  So smoke was coming up directly through the floor.
At one settlement meeting, strata management relented to having an independent licensed HVAC provider inspect the ventilation system and air flow, and to then report. When strata management failed to arrange the inspection within thirty days, their own lawyer impressed upon them the urgency and merits of immediate doing so.  Having the ventilation system work is part of everyday operations and management. What is this obstruction about?
The ventilation system failed years ago, and had never been repaired. With the HVAC mechanics making the ventilation operational, owners expressed amazement at the difference in air quality. Many people had never experienced proper ventilation in multi-unit residences. Ventilation didn't resolve the entire secondhand smoke issue, but it moved it through the building at a rapid pace.
     At another settlement meeting, one issue focused on having the ventilation on 24/7 and at a proper level, and heated in winter, cooled in summer.  Management's affidavit swore that it was on.  The building manager had said it was on 8 PM to 8 AM.  A requisition and invoice to support that the ventilation system was inspected and working properly inadvertently showed the timer to be set from 8 PM to 8 AM.  So reviewing the documents caught management's sworn lie.
     In yet another situation, tenants complained to management that ventilation was turned off at 11 PM, and not turned back on until the next morning.  Management responded, stating that a tenant complained of the noise ventilation made and how it interfered with her sleep. Management agreed to turn off ventilation during quiet hours.  Rather than fix the noise, management turned off the ventilation, for one complaining tenant.
     Ventilation should never be turned off!
     And all of this to make money, er save money?  With tenants running one to three fans, and air purifiers, 24/7, which increases the usage and cost of hydro, how exactly is this efficient and effective?
     Shades of Corporate Tobacco! 
How could that be? What would government building code fellows say about all this?
Most apartment or condos have fresh air supply to the corridors, which sort of pressurizes the corridor, and will keep cigarette smoke within a suite from leaking into the corridor. So sealing the one inch gap of entrance doorways defeats the purpose of this ventilation. However, cigarette smoke originating in the corridor could be pushed into the suite. The other problem is suite separation; walls that aren't air tight; cracks in the floor; shared kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans; roof ventilation pipes place too low and too close to air intake. Smoke can come back into through air vents; smoke migrates between suites through much larger areas than electrical outlets. The common area ventilation systems in these type of buildings are not always that good, are often not maintained, and frequently turned off, to save money. They are often unheated and so force cold air through the hallways. We should just make smoking illegal in apartments.”
OK. Works for me. Lovely email. Simply lovely.
At yet another settlement meeting, tenants asked for a whole range of sealing, including weatherstripping. The Board Director repeated pretty much the government fellow quote above, and refused to do it for smokers and non-smokers alike. It simply defeated the whole purpose of the ventilation. Then, later, in an affidavit, management says, “we suggested the tenant submit a maintenance slip to have weather-stripping installed at her doorway to limit possible exposure to drifting smoke, and she has not done so.” Whoa! What?
Some management company paid a lawyer to put this in an affidavit, and a lawyer did it. Just imagine the dollar signs, per word, flying out the window.
Clearly ventilation is at issue, something evidence-based, which can be inspected, repaired, and monitored. Getting management to give ventilation the spotlight, is like pulling wisdom teeth. Much more fun to focus on degenerate, agitating tenants. Just more dismissal, denial, deflecting and denigration.
So what really is at issue – what's behind the deflecting of the idea of ventilation as the problem.
Smoke-free housing remains a divisive issue for stratas and societies, who continue to maintain that what is required is a change in legislation. Until legislation is amended, strata and societies cannot interfere with the written agreement of its tenants.” (Affidavit 2008, re issued 2011)
Still stuck on legislation and grandfathering, eh. Haven't read far down the ACT to engage with health and safety and quiet enjoyment, nuisance, and harm.
The legislation issue as voiced by landlords, is really about how much work exercising authority under health and safety and quiet enjoyment is when focusing on smokers. When the burden of proof is landlords, and not tenants, landlords choose legislation over making a case under the Residential Tenancy Act.  They cannot prove that smokers smoke.
Also at issue - who experiences more undue hardship? Who experiences more harm?
Addicted smokers, versus non-smokers made sick by secondhand smoke?
Addicted smokers who have other drug and alcohol dependencies, and mental illnesses, versus non-smokers experiencing physical and/or mental illness exacerbated by secondhand smoke?
Who is harder to house?
Did you know that a non-smoker with a physical, developmental, or mental illness becomes harder to house if they ask for smoke-free housing, or to be placed as far away from smoke and smokers as possible?
Throughout the labyrinth of human rights and nuisance claims' documents, a particular, peculiar, pattern presents itself.
The reek of secondhand smoke gives way to stench of management psychologizing tenants as mental and social problems, spin-doctoring the facts, and (pause, deep breath) lying, all found by cross linking the paper trail.
You'd almost think we needed our own congressional tobacco hearings for the smoking wars at ground zero.  We DO!
After four years, smoke-free housing means now more than ever - SMOKE FREELY!
Ventilation systems need to be inspected, and a whole lot of fresh air needs to blow through the smoke-free housing movement to eliminate psychologizing tenants, spin-doctoring the facts, and lying.
Ven -ting!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

NEWS ~ NEWS ~ NEWS London ON New Apartment Building Opts for Smoke-free and Utilizing Grants to Encourage Smoke-free Housing

Banning smoking in condos:  So Hot Right Now

          Cigarette smokers have been cast out from our parks, beaches, boardwalks, bars, restaurants, and automobiles with children on board, and now that we've got them isolated in their apartments furtively lighting up beneath the bed with a towel stuffed under the door, it's time bring the hammer down once and for all. As we previously reported, a number of co-ops and condos are planning votes to ban smoking inside private residences, man. Today, a reporter, who's friends with another reporter at the Post, uses he connections to complain in the media about these filthy tobacco inhalers.

          "They’ve banned smoking in parks, but I can’t have a smoke-free bedroom."  

Read full article under News

Apartment building opts for smoke-free

By Chris Montanini  (Londoner)

          There's no room for smoking at 70 Capulet Lane, a new apartment building in west London being billed as the city's first "smoke-free" apartment complex.
          "When we realized it was legally available to us we decided to give it a shot and we're quite happy that we did it, it's been quite successful," said Allan Drewlo, vice president of Drewlo Holdings, the local company behind 70 Capulet and three other buildings in Capulet Towers.
          "We're advertising it that way and when (tenants) come in to sign the lease agreement, they actually sign an addendum that they agree that them and their guests and anybody else that visits — they'll help enforce the non-smoking (rule) with the threat of eviction."

Read full article under News 

Grants awarded to encourage smoke-free apartments (

          To achieve the goal of increasing the number of smoke-free apartment buildings and condos in Chicago, the Chicago Tobacco Prevention Project is awarding thousands of dollars in grants.

Read full article under News


From Health Canada's Healthy Living Website

  • Every 11 minutes, a Canadian dies from tobacco use. 
  • Every 10 minutes, two Canadian teenagers start smoking cigarettes; one of them will lose their life because of it. 

  • Yearly, more than 1,000 Canadians who never even smoked die - from exposure to tobacco smoke.  300 non-smokers will die of lung cancer and at least 700 non-smokers will die of coronary heart disease caused by exposure to second-hand smoke.
  • Year in and year out, more than 45,000 Canadians perish - because of tobacco.
  • That's more than five times the number of Canadians who die from traffic injuries, alcohol abuse, murder and suicide combined.

  • And yet ... tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of premature death and disease in Canada.

TOBACCO: the only legal product that maims and kills when used precisely as intended by the manufacturer.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Sense and scent-ability: Do you smell second-hand smoke in your home?

Instilling a Fervent Wish for Smoke-free Housing - Part XXI

Do you smell second-hand smoke in your home?
Yes! Smell works.
Sometimes our sense of smell doesn't work so well.
Breathe. Every breath you take. The nose is part of the respiratory system, and acts as a screening and cleaning filter. Our sense of smell functions as our early warning system, except when smell receptors become damaged. Our sense of smell also works as part of our attract system.
Our sense of smell deteriorates with age, and injuries, especially head injuries.
Diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's damage the ability to smell.
Smoking and consistent, long-term exposure to second-hand smoke remains the primary risk factor to olfactory deficit – the loss of a sense of smell.
When the loss of smell is complete, doctors name the disease anosmia; when decreased, hyposmia. When smells become mixed, and smell differently than they should, doctors refer to it as dysosmia.
Depending on extent and duration of smoking (10-30 cigarettes/day/years), smokers experience two to six times the loss of smell when examined against non-smokers and never smoked. This explains why smokers are unable to smell their smoke, second and third-hand smoke, and effectively empathize with the effect of their smoking waste on non-smokers. Not only unable to experience it, they can't even imagine it!
Imagine the danger when unable to smell smoke. Imagine the consequences of an inability to smell...a gas leak; mold; a smouldering fire; spoiled or rotting food.
As a result of my involvement with smoke-free housing, the topic of smell comes up, a lot!
I met, thus far, thirty non-smokers (some never) who do not have a problem with second-hand smoke. They do not smell it. Most often, they believe second-hand smoke doesn't affect their health because they don't smell it, or no longer have a sense of smell. Each time the issue of smoke-free housing comes up in conversation, they launch into what I, now, call their rant of neutrality. Now, I immediately ask, “How well do you smell?” I cut to the chase, and examine their sense and scent-ability.
Except Harry, who's 85. Except Isabel, who's 79. Except Mark, 49. All know they do not smell it. They no longer have a sense of smell. All never smoked.
Harry's eyes begin to sting, and he begins to cough or sneeze, and the coughing results in a jerk to his lower back, and jerk to his eyes, and recurring sinus infections. His eyes are easily strained, and he's going blind. All in the same moment, he will hear from his wife, “Do you smell that smoke?” which is kind of rhetorical, since she knows Harry does not. Harry's wife smells it, and is susceptible to allergic reactions from it. She experiences panic and anxiety.
When second-hand smoke infiltrates Isabel's body, her voice begins to sound quite high, and squeaky. She begins to cough, a lot, more when she's talking.
Mark discovered a 'closeted' smoker when he was having cough and flu-like symptoms while at home, that cleared up when he was away. The more time he spent at home, the worse the symptoms. His doctor told him to quick smoking. When Mark responded with, “I don't smoke, never have,” his doctor said, “I smell smoke off of you.” Mark eventually 'found out' his non-smoking landlord was the smoker in the house.
Did you know, the occasional smoker who lights up just when with friends, the social smoker don't consider themselves smokers?
Today, when Harry, Isabel, and Mark speak out about second-hand smoke, they emphasize first the smell of second-hand smoke is not the problem.
By the time you smell second-hand, you have already inhaled the second-hand smoke. The damage is done, and by chemicals you can't smell.
When Harry or Mark talk about this, people are stunned by what they say. Rather than understand what is being said, and it's importance, most often people conclude Harry and Mark exaggerate.
The comments they hear, “That's bullshit.” “You're bullshitting me.” denigrates and dismisses what they say. Harry's experience receives further denigration because of his age, “He's 85. What does he know! Old coot!” Mark and Harry's wife receive denigration because people dismiss them as “hyper-sensitive.”
Harry and his wife have a smoker below them, and on both sides. All smoke a pack and a half a day, and more. That translates into 90-120 cigarettes being burned around them every day. Smokers might smoke half a dozen times a day outside, in good weather. They might be away once in a while. The second-hand smoke remains consistent in volume and in frequency. They report to management. Mostly, they suffer in silence.
Have you reported second-hand smoke to management, and management or staff investigate, only to say they can't smell it, and it's their word over yours. Do they even smell it, and do they even know they do not smell it?
Have you reported second-hand smoke and management dismissed your report with weasel words and spin?
TENANT REPORT: “At 8 PM on Sunday May 15th, 2011, I ventured out of my suite after two days of being too ill to go outside for my walks.  I entered the small elevator off the 3rd floor, and was immediately inundated by marijuana smoke, and there was marijuana smoke on level one where I exit at the west Exit Only door.  Returning, I decided to use the main elevator and was confronted by cigarette smoke.“
MANAGEMENT RESPONSE: “I have reviewed the security tapes for indications of persons smoking in the main elevator during the evening of May 15, 2011. I have been unable to find any evidence of this allegation.”
TENTANT RESPONSE: “There are no security cameras in the elevator, and the issue was not whether someone was smoking in the main elevator. Smokers use the main elevator exclusively going to and coming from the smoking area on the rooftop, and contains a fairly constant dose of fresh third-hand smoke. So sorry I failed to be exact.  Did you also review the security cameras for who might have walked into the small elevator and contaminated it with marijuana third-hand smoke?   Are security cameras meant to be used in this way?”

Sense and scent-ability!