Ottawa social housing to ban smoking

| December 11, 2013

Tobacco smoking will be banned from social housing units in the Canadian city of Ottawa starting from June next year, according to the latest proposal from Ottawa’s Community Housing Corp. (CHC).

Writing in the Ottawa Citizen, Derek Spalding said that the new no-smoking policy was widely popular among residents who lived in the 14,800 units operated by the housing provider.

A survey of residents from 2012 showed that 69 percent of the 3,700 people who responded preferred to live in a smoke-free building, while 46 percent said they were bothered by secondhand smoke from a neighbouring unit.

CHC CEO Jo-Anne Poirier hopes the new policy will address the health hazards associated with smoking, including that posed by the risk of fire.

“We get a lot of complaints from people who live next to smokers,” she said. “There’s also a cost-saving aspect to it as well. Repairing a unit after a smoker moves out costs more.”

The new policy will apply only to new leases, so smokers who have leases already will be able to continue to smoke in their homes.

They will not, however, be permitted to smoke in common areas, including parking lots and parks.

Category: Breaking News

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