Smoking in strata


Should smokers be banned from lighting up on the balcony of their apartments? The concerns surrounding this very delicate issue were highlighted in the report by Global Access Partners on Strata Laws.

The report to the NSW State Government noted thousands of complaints from owners and tenants residing in units of strata communities. Complaints ranged from “discontent residents with the need to close their doors and windows due to smoke entering their homes” and “health risks with tobacco smoke being a highly toxic carcinogenic airborne contaminant.”

Health and wellbeing concerns from the NSW Cancer Council also noted, “Risks to health from second hand tobacco smoke exposure, even at low dosage levels, are well established by medical research evidence and the law should protect people against smoke penetrating their own homes.”

The controversy surrounding smoking in strata is huge, especially when considering campaigners against tobacco are trying to stop a person doing something that is legal and in their own home. This often causes unnecessary arguments between smokers and non-smokers.

The debate to ban smoking in a strata scheme is a complicated one. It’s difficult to determine who holds the higher ground here: concerned, health wary non-smokers? Or smokers with a right to do as they please in their home?

If you are affected by cigarette smoke in your home, SSKB would recommend the following:

  • Talk to the smoker about the problem; let them know that their smoke is affecting you. More than likely you will be able to come to a resolution that suits you both.
  • If talking to your neighbour doesn’t solve the issue or you are not comfortable in approaching the individual, speak to your committee about getting the issue resolved.

If neither of the above provides resolve to your problem, contact your community manager to discuss a harmonious solution to suit your  whole community.



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Recent Comments

3 Comments

Barbara Garnett On November 19, 2012 | Reply

Interesting article. My son was telling me that in Sydney there are a number of strata properties which have adodpted the ‘Non smoking’ policy.
The issue, I feel, is that OK..if they want to smoke in their own apartment, with the door closed …..then that is fine…..but out on the balconies….that is public air. Smoking is unnatural. It is something a person chooses to do – like jumping from that balcony.
Others should not suffer the consequences of someone else’s choices in life.
So, therefore, it really should be that if smoking is not to be totally banned, then smoking should only be inside the apartment,with doors closed, NOT on balconies where it affects someone else.
To be sitting on your balcony at 5 in the morning enjoying a lovely cup of tea….only to be chased inside by the person below – outside on their balcony, (with the doors to their apartment closed, so as not to annoy their family) lighting up a cigarette and the smoke wafting right up to you. You therefore then have to head inside. FreshAir is natural – not smoke.
We purchased our apartment in Bale, as did others, because we were told it was a non smoking complex. (I an asthma sufferer so this was a huge reason for our purchase here).

Peter Macaione On November 19, 2012 | Reply

Pass the buck to ineffectual hands-tied committee?? Should be law that way no gray area and no cause for problems in strata. Try discussing a harmonious solution with a smoker!!! and pigs fly!!

yolande leonardi On November 22, 2012 | Reply

The other offending matter is that cigarette butts end up on balconies and surfaces below.Smoking is an individual’s right, but not affecting others is the same individual’s responsibility. Let’s hope community awareness improves in high rise or strata buildings.

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