80% of People Living in Apartments, Condos and Co-ops Want to Live Smoke Free

Dec 08, 2011, 05:00 ET from Smoke Free Housing Ontario

Two in Three Ontarians Believe All Multi-Unit Dwellings Should Be Smoke Free

TORONTO, Dec. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ - An overwhelming majority of Ontarians living in apartments, condos and co-ops want to live in smoke-free buildings, but supply is lagging far behind this growing demand.  According to Smoke-Free Housing Ontario, this market inequity is putting the health of millions of Ontarians at risk.

Polling by Ipsos Reid in November, 2011 on behalf of the Canadian Cancer Society showed that 67 per cent of Ontarians believe that all apartments, condos and co-ops in the province should be 100 per cent smoke free.  Among young adults aged 18-34, this number rises to 83 per cent.

"Ipsos Reid also conducted polling in November, 2010, showing that four in five Ontarians living in apartments, condominiums or housing co-ops want to live in a smoke-free building, all other things being equal," said Pippa Beck, chair of Smoke-Free Housing Ontario and policy analyst for the Smoking and Health Action Foundation. "In Ontario, no-smoking policies are legal and enforceable in all multi-unit dwellings.  However, despite this fact and significant demand, the supply of smoke-free housing in Ontario remains disproportionately low."

Involuntary exposure to second-hand smoke occurs in any type of residence with shared walls, hallways or ventilation.  Residents in multi-unit dwellings can be exposed to dangerous levels of tobacco smoke through cracks in fixtures, electrical outlets, pipes, vents and baseboards, as well as through shared ventilation systems and windows.

"Second-hand smoke causes a range of adverse health effects in children and non-smoking adults" says Joanne Di Nardo, senior manager, public issues for the Canadian Cancer Society. "There is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke and everyone deserves to be protected. No-smoking policies in multi-unit dwellings are a win-win: cleaner, healthier indoor air for all residents and a healthier bottom line for owners and managers in terms of less cleaning and maintenance."

While demand for smoke-free housing options continues to far exceed the supply in Ontario, housing providers are beginning to respond.  A number of examples demonstrate that no-smoking policies can be successfully implemented and enforced. One such example is Artscape Wychwood Barns in Toronto which opened as a 100 per cent smoke-free building in 2008. Also, currently in development in Ottawa is Domicile One3One, the city's first smoke-free condominium, scheduled to open in 2012.

"People need to be aware of the risks of second-hand smoke exposure in shared housing, especially to children and those unable to move to a new home," says Margo, a former tenant from Peterborough who was finally able to move in 2010, escaping 10 years of second-hand smoke exposure. "Ontario needs more smoke-free housing available.  Landlords have the opportunity to create smoke-free housing, and there is a great demand for it."

Tenants and residents interested in advocating for smoke-free housing, as well as landlords and housing providers interested in making their buildings smoke-free, are encouraged to visit smokefreehousingon.ca for valuable information, resources and tools.

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Smoke-Free Housing Ontario is a coalition of health organizations concerned about the lack of smoke-free housing options in Ontario and about the health effects involuntary second-hand smoke exposure has on those living in multi-unit dwellings. The Coalition offers information and support for individuals and families, and for landlords, condominium boards and other housing providers interested in going smoke-free.  Its membership includes the Canadian Cancer Society, Heart & Stroke Foundation, Ontario Lung Association, Ontario Campaign for Action on Tobacco, Smoking and Health Action Foundation, and Public Health Units across the province.


A. An Ipsos Reid poll, conducted on behalf of the Canadian Cancer Society Ontario Division, was undertaken from November 16 to 21, 2011.  For this survey, a total of 810 Ontarians were interviewed online, yielding a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

B. An Ipsos Reid poll, conducted for Smoke-Free Housing Ontario, was undertaken from October 29 to November 9, 2010. For this survey, a total of 1533 Ontarians living in apartments, condominiums and housing cooperatives were interviewed online, yielding a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

PROPEL Centre for Population Health Impact - Smoke-Free Community Housing

SOURCE Smoke Free Housing Ontario

Video with caption: "Video: 80% of People Living in Apartments, Condos and Co-ops Want to Live Smoke-Free". Video available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/playback.cgi?file=20111208_C5038_VIDEO_EN_7971.mp4&posterurl=http://photos.newswire.ca/images/20111208_C5038_PHOTO_EN_7971.jpg&clientName=Smoke%20Free%20Housing%20Ontario&caption=Video%3A%2080%25%20of%20People%20Living%20in%20Apartments%2C%20Condos%20and%20Co%2Dops%20Want%20to%20Live%20Smoke%2DFree&title=Smoke%20Free%20Housing%20Ontario%20%2D%20Living%20in%20Smoke%2DFree%20buildings

Video with caption: "Video: 80% of People Living in Apartments, Condos and Co-ops Want to Live Smoke-Free". Video available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/playback.cgi?file=20111208_C5038_VIDEO_EN_7972.mp4&posterurl=http://photos.newswire.ca/images/20111208_C5038_PHOTO_EN_7972.jpg&clientName=Smoke%20Free%20Housing%20Ontario&caption=Video%3A%2080%25%20of%20People%20Living%20in%20Apartments%2C%20Condos%20and%20Co%2Dops%20Want%20to%20Live%20Smoke%2DFree&title=SMOKE%20FREE%20HOUSING%20ONTARIO%20%2D%20Living%20in%20Smoke%2DFree%20buildings

PDF with caption: "Fact Sheet - Ipsos Reid Polling". PDF available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2011/12/08/20111208_C5038_DOC_EN_7973.pdf

PDF with caption: "Fact Sheet - Second-hand Smoke". PDF available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2011/12/08/20111208_C5038_DOC_EN_7974.pdf