LANGLEY (NEWS 1130) – A Langley mom wants the B.C. government to ban smoking in all apartment and condo units across the province.
Naomi Baker started a petition online, asking Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Selina Robinson to make multi-unit dwellings smoke-free.
By Wednesday night more than 1,800 people had signed, getting closer to the 2,500 goal.
Baker and her husband bought a condo in Langley in 2016 and she says they’ve been dealing with secondhand smoke coming into the unit since then. She says despite numerous complaints to their neighbour and the building’s strata nothing changed.
The building passed a bylaw last year that prohibited smoking in common areas, but she says that only made matters worse because their neighbour allegedly began smoking inside instead of his balcony. She says that’s when the smoke started coming in through the walls and fixtures.
But once the couple found out they were having a baby, they decided to take action.
“When we found out that I was pregnant in September of last year we certainly went into high alert because there’s a higher risk of miscarriage when you’re breathing second-hand smoke,” she says.
“It’s obviously more than an unpleasant aroma, it’s a health issue.”
When they came home from the hospital Baker says their home smelled like an ashtray, “It was horrible. So we thought ‘great, we’re bringing our little newborn home with tiny little lungs that are not even finished being developed and she’s going to live in this?’”
The couple bought an air purifier and say they have done everything to seal off anywhere where the smoke may leak. Baker says they also try to keep windows open as much as possible and are doing everything they can to minimize her exposure.
She says they were so desperate that they even tried to sell their condo and put it on the market in June, but she notes that being able to afford a detached home where they don’t have to worry about second-hand smoke is unlikely.
“We would love to move but we don’t have the option, we’re kind of stuck here where we are.”