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 in B.C. activist 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, who waged a nearly three-year battle to make her Langley 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

_________________________________

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ryan’s Regards: Will the air travel industry once again take flight?

With airlines grounded and staff laid off, going abroad could be more difficult beyond COVID-19

Several Langley homes and projects honoured with Georgie Awards

Grenor Homes took home Best Single Family Kitchen Up To $150,000 for Redwoods Manor in Langley

VIDEO: Record turnout for third annual Langley car show against cancer

Brogan’s Diner Fight Against Cancer Car Show was turned into a road trip because of COVID-19

Langley City re-opens Monday to limited weight room and fitness classes

Still no drop-ins allowed, but some pre-registered appointments possible at Timms Community Centre

Langley artist Lalita Hamill launches new website to showcase art and share instructional videos

A Zoom session on Saturday, July 18, will serve as a free art assessment and critique at 10 a.m.

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Fraser Valley loses the Keith Wilson Waver as Ron Hupper passes away

Hupper brought smiles to the faces of hundreds of people traveling Chilliwack’s Keith Wilson Road

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

Woman sexually assaulted, robbed near Surrey SkyTrain station: RCMP

Police say the incident happened July 10, just after 11 p.m. near King George SkyTrain station

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Once-in-a-lifetime comet photographed soaring over Abbotsford

Photographer Randy Small captures Comet NEOWISE in early-morning sky

Most Read