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

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Inevitably, the expectation exists to engage in conversations and attempts to bring the group Human Rights claim and my Nuisance claim to closure, what with the hearing date set for Oct 1.
With two of us receiving BC Housing’s private market rent supplement (PMRS) – one of us on the Human Rights Claim, and another not on any claim – any settlement needs to consider helping the one left behind get out.

In this case, the one left behind happens to be the person who first came to my door entreating me on more than one occasion, to find more about the pamphlet she had on smoke-free housing. 

I felt reticent to spend more time at the computer in a smoke filled suite, and embarrassed for telling her I didn’t want to do it.  I was still mobile, painfully so, but still mobile enough to get out of my suite to get away from the habitual times that smokers congregated.  However painful that was, leaving the apartment for the park and fresh air remained absolute in the circumstance we lived in.  She was not as mobile. I spent my time in my suite on the computer looking for a place to move, which was turning into a never-ending story.

So eventually, I accepted her entreaties and her $40 to purchase ink, from her limited income of about $500, so she could have copies of the documents we found. We found a plethora of secondhand smoke and smoke-free housing documents, emailing four on to management, asking to be part of a committee working on smoke-free housing. Ah, the days when we were allowed to email.
This was before the crisis at the end of March 2008 when more crying women knocked on  my door, and which proved to be the catalyst for a group report on the scope of the secondhand smoke problem three weeks later.  Having a computer, my typing skills, once more, were in demand.

As I wrote previously, BC Housing gave us PMRS applications which were filled out, and BC Housing granted us the PMRS in 2008, but did not issue the subsidy, stating that we were on a waiting list.
Two of us receiving the BC Housing PMRS, and moving out on the same day, resulted in water-cooler talk around, how did that happen?  Was it for health reasons?  Was it because we were the proverbial “squeaky wheel?” It's a mystery, and the files are X-files.

In the colloquial understanding of how this came about, there exists consensus about how this came about, and the underlying script reads like this.

“My best guess is, because, you know, you wrote them, called them, so frequently, that essentially every communication from you gets elevated directly to their legal department, until to the point where they, just like,  give this woman what she wants and then we can, all of us, get on with our job. That’s my guess what happened.”

That’s the squeaky wheel explanation.  Being sick, strained, and in distress from coping with secondhand smoke from tobacco and marijuana receives less credibility as an explanation, than the squeaky wheel reason.

Apparently, the two of us who received the PMRS,  well,  that’s a great thing we did for ourselves. It’s an incredible thing we did. We completely empowered ourselves to have done that. It’s incredible.

So, I’m incredible by being vexatious. The two of us are incredible for being vexatious.  We’re incredibly vexatious.  Not quite the same as incredibly vivacious.

Facts don’t matter.  Apparently you must be incredible at empowering yourself and vexatious too, to get away from secondhand tobacco and marijuana smoke, and to get a PMRS.

And so now we must continue to be incredible and vexatious, incredibly vexatious to support the woman left behind, who must also rise to the standard of incredible and vexatious. Her health vulnerability just doesn’t factor in.

Invariably, the ‘grandfathering’ word receives air time.  “But is he grandfathered.”  “Yah, he’s grandfathered.” Apparently the fact remains that property managers cannot discriminate against smokers and non-smokers.  Non-smokers just have to accommodate smokers’ addictions.  Just take a commercial break when smoke comes your way.  Go take a stroll in the park.
The underlying theme, the underlying scripts, spoken or implied remains,
“That’s the way we do things around here.”  “You don’t know how things are done around here.” “You don’t know the law.”

Being a bit testy on this grandfathering concept, I say the person’s name twice, and reiterate one more time, surprising myself at how quietly I stated:

“Grandfathering is not a license to smoke. It is mitigated by health, safety, and quiet enjoyment. It is not a concept in and of itself, that is an umbrella that denies everything else.  It just doesn’t. There would be no need for nuisance laws, quiet enjoyment, or human rights if it was just contract law that was in place.  You wouldn’t be doing this. We wouldn’t be doing this.”

I managed to silence the conversation.

Now I add to my rant:  secondhand smoke is no different than smells from pig farms, mushrooms farms, garbage, idling cars, and mold.
Many of the other claims that existed came about as a result of one smoker; In the McDaniels case, a few smokers.  We have substantially more smokers with a count in 2008 numbering 39, and currently around 55.  Fifty-five smokers lighting up minimum one pack of cigarettes a day (20).  A few smokers admit to being 2-3 pack-a-day smokers.  What does that multiply to? Is that exposure to secondhand smoke substantial enough? If the problem can’t be fixed, get us out of here, into the market where there is no-smoking in suites and no smoking on the property available, and let us get on with our lives.

We all become shaped by the time we live in and the circumstances we live under.  We become what is required.  Others identify us in terms of what is necessary to live in that time, space, and place.  I have been identified, we have been identified, as incredible, empowering ourselves, and vexatious.  These are the skills, knowledge, and attitude required to successfully accomplish being smoke-free. Being made sick, and medical documentation just doesn’t cut it.

Funny, we feel exhausted, close to shut down, signing off the claims, walking away, demoralized, because we all are not as powerful as management, the insurance company, and the lawyers, and they are more powerful than the dismissal decision.

Monday, September 3, 2012

People imagining a smoke-free world: Who are they? How dare they!

Did you know there were this many people in Canada standing up and speaking out “to be smoke-free”?

Do you recognize the innovative ways different people stand up and speak out?
Writing on one topic, one situation weekly grows a web or blog site that soon becomes overwhelming in content.  The truth is out there.  Seek it.  Find it.  From whatever perspective you identify with.

And remember, the smoke-free movement is really all about anti-tobacco, and the horrendous epidemic caused by tobacco corporations. The smoke-free movement is all about anti-tobacco and eradicating tobacco corporations for future generations.  It’s society engaging in civil action to take back their health from Big Tobacco. 

Non-Smokers’ Rights Association – Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal; flagship organization performing leading edge advocacy and law reform; registered nurse Rosalee Berlin founded NSRA in 1974 and would be considered an early adopter of a radical idea: to be smoke-free   Smoke-free Housing Ontario

ASH – Action on Smoking and Health;  around the world:  USA, Canada, UK, Wales, Australia; Alberta, Canada

Smoking Facts and Fiction  registered nurse Beverly Hansen OMalley witnesses first-hand the affect from smoking and tobacco

Outsmart Tobacco    another registered nurse, since 2008, keeping tally of cigarettes not smoked in 'Tobacco Fighters and Survivors Club' group

Physicians for a Smoke-free Canada – spear-heading knowledge and legal challenges to be smoke-free

Clean Air Coalition – sponsored by BC Lung and Heart and Stroke, and initiated Imagine Smoke-free BC and Smoke-free Housing BC

Airspace Action on Smoking and Health – Canada’s Sworn Enemies of the Tobacco Industry; another early adopter hailing from the 1970’s; Airspace Wiki

Smokers Rights Canada   – Straight dope on what smokers’ rights are really about

The Grim Reaper Society – documenting the death toll from tobacco and smoking

Eye on the Trials – the tobacco trail blogspot from Quebec: information service on the tobacco litigation and the real story of smokers’ rights

Stupid (Ontario’s Youth-oriented project, since 2004) WOW site because of the innovative use of technology to present the facts, and the concise presentation of information. Check-it-out!

Info-Tabac – Quebec’s site with their magazine in English;  note the different ways information is distributed and talked about

Saskatchewan Lung Association – smoke free housing is not a luxury! Interesting phrase, because the implication then is that smoke free housing is thought of as a luxury! – for information and news of every type and kind from every country around the globe;

Legacy Tobacco Documents Library – digital library containing more than 13 million documents and 70 million pages; based at University of California; resulting from United States tobacco trials

Interesting articles from the Atlantic magazine

The Astray of History by Abigail Cutler

My beginnings:   Labstat

PUSH beginnings:  Tacoma Washington USA People United for Smoke-free Housing (recent vintage) and People United to Save Humanity and People United for Sustainable Housing and Rainbow PUSH