My name is Naomi, and I live in a condo in Langley, BC with my husband and infant daughter. The day we moved into our unit in 2016, we realized we had a problem: second-hand smoke was seeping into our home from the unit below ours. We tried sealing every crack, seam, outlet and opening in every wall; we tried talking with our neighbour below about our issues with the smoke and how it was adversely affecting our health; we appealed to the strata council and asked for a bylaw to ban smoking in the building, but the ban ended up only covering common property, so now it is worse, as the smoking happens only in the unit behind closed doors, maximizing the toxic smoke density indoors.
Since we had our baby girl this spring, every day I am sick over the second-hand smoke having a detrimental effect on her health, even increasing the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. In desperation, we're taking our fight to the BC Legislature, demanding the enactment of a law to protect the health of my baby, all babies, all kids, all parents, all regular folks and all elderly living in conjoined housing. Neighbours should NOT have the right to harm each other. No amount of second-hand smoke is safe, and no multi-unit building can prevent the seepage of air from one unit to another. If your neighbour is smoking, you are exposed to those toxins in your own unit, because air is something we have to share in multi-unit dwellings.
I started a petition on change.org and suddenly, the story went viral. I've been on TV, radio, and myriad news sites across Canada. To expect individual residents to invest the time, effort, and stress of campaigning for their landlords and strata councils to ban smoking and allow them to breathe clean air in their own homes is ridiculous. We share the air in multi-unit housing, and we say there must be a default setting of NO SMOKING in homes that are conjoined. Join us!
This is the official site of Air We Share, a newly-launched petition initiative to change the laws around smoking in multi-unit housing. We want the default setting to be NO SMOKING instead of requiring each strata and landlord to decide whether neighbours can expose each other to a "Group A" carcinogen: second-hand smoke.
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