Re: “The smells of summer”

Issue: BCMJ, Vol. 60, No. 1, January, February 2018, page(s) 13 Letters
Stuart Kreisman, MD

I very much enjoyed your “ranting” in your editorial, “The smells of summer,” [BCMJ 2017;59:344-345] and of course I agree very strongly. You may recall my Premise piece, “Toward smoke-free multi-unit dwellings” [BCMJ 2011;53:400-401].

Unfortunately our various levels of government have done little to move this issue forward over the last 6 years. Things are much better in the United States, with the Housing and Urban Development Department mandating that all public housing agencies nationwide have complete smoke-free policies by July 2018.[1]

On a personal level, getting the 75% strata vote needed to adopt stricter nonsmoking bylaws may not be as difficult as you think. Our condo implemented such a bylaw last winter, to my surprise getting 91% in favor of a complete indoor-outdoor ban, including balconies, with no grandfathering.

My only cautionary comment would be to make sure that the policy applies to the interiors of individual units, not just to balconies, because if one starts getting exposure into one’s unit through various connections (which happened to us in 2010 in another place, ultimately forcing us to move) the situation is much harder to mitigate than a balcony source. I do realize that you were joking about encouraging smokers to increase their own exposure by smoking indoors with their doors and windows closed, but an even better idea is the completely enclosed smoker’s helmet that some advocates I know would like to see smokers forced to wear!
—Stuart H. Kreisman, MD

References Top

1.    Housing and Urban Development Department. Instituting smoke-free public housing. Accessed 19 December 2017.