Smoke free housing

ACOSH is advocating for a change to the Strata Titles Act 1985 to specify that tobacco smoke is a nuisance which unreasonably interferes with the use and enjoyment of the property

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.

The good news

ACOSH has launched the initiative ‘Small Community Incentive Scheme’ that provides funding to strata corporations, sporting clubs and community groups to implement a tobacco control policy, as well as monitoring and enforcement compliance of current tobacco control policy and legislation.

You can use this funding to work with your Council of Owners and strata manager to develop a smoke free by-law at your strata-titled property and protect others from the harmful exposure to secondhand smoke.

ACOSH now invites applications of up to $1000 under ACOSH’s Tobacco Control Small Community Incentive Scheme.  Download the application form and guidelines.

In a recent survey conducted with 76 community members that live in strata housing, ACOSH found that 59% of the respondents had been exposed to secondhand smoke inside their home and 32% of them on a daily basis.

ACOSH is committed to supporting community members exposed to secondhand smoke to enjoy smoke free living.

If you support smoke free living, ACOSH would like to hear from you.  Please join our campaign!

 

Our Campaigns

Changing the law

ACOSH AUSTRLIAN COUNCIL ON SMOCKING AND HEALTH

Advocating for supportive legislation

The WA Government has set strata reform as a key priority and Landgate has been tasked to deliver reforms to the Strata Titles Act 1985 (WA).

ACOSH, Cancer Council WA and the Heart Foundation WA have called on the WA Government and Landgate to address the issue of smoking and secondhand smoke exposure on strata titled properties. Our submission proposed a model by-law that would prohibit smoking where it causes a nuisance or hazard or otherwise interferes unreasonably with the use or enjoyment of the property by another resident.