More and more people are speaking out about the negative impact smoke drift is having on them in their own home.
ACOSH has been proactive in raising awareness of the growing issue of smoke drift and advocating for smoke free housing. The issues around smoking in the home can be complex and can cause strong reactions in people affected by the smoke, as well as the smoker.
The dangers of secondhand smoke exposure are clear. When non-smokers breathe in secondhand smoke they inhale the same toxic and carcinogenic chemicals that smokers inhale. Exposure to secondhand smoke can increase a person’s risk of developing a wide range of serious diseases and illnesses. Vulnerable groups include infants, children, pregnant women, elderly people, people who are already struggling with health issues and people who are repeatedly exposed to secondhand smoke, even at low levels. It is estimated that more than 600,000 people worldwide die every year as a result of exposure to secondhand smoke.
Smoke drift into homes can cause problems for owners, tenants, managers, staff and residents. It is particularly problematic for high-density multi-unit housing such as apartments and retirement villages. Smoke drift can also cause significant problems in single dwelling homes.
The problem with smoking in the home is that there is no way to stop smoke drift, and there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Smoke drift from one unit in multi-unit housing can infiltrate throughout the entire building by way of balconies, patios, doors, windows, air vents, air conditioning systems, hallways, stairwells, elevators, and plumbing and electrical systems. Even when a smoker is situated some distance from the building smoke can easily drift into another unit. The only way to protect non-smoking residents from secondhand smoke exposure is to implement a smoke free policy for premises.
If you are a resident who is affected by smoke drift and want more information about how to achieve smoke free housing please read the following documents.
- Benefits of smoke free housing
- Changing the law
- Achieving smoke free living: A guide for residents and home owners