Hamilton considers smoking ban in public housing

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rural - Francesca rural - Francesca's picture
Hamilton considers smoking ban in public housing

Hamilton considers smoking ban in public housing

 

John Fraser, a program director at the Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation in Toronto, said because people with lower incomes are over-represented in the smoking population, imposing the ban could be construed as discrimination against low-income families.

"Social tenants don't have a choice to be there. They're living there because they don't have a lot of other options," he said.

 

I have no idea what to say to this.

These are people's homes.  If we are going to say we need to not let them smoke because there are children, then make it so for every home.

And lets ban potato chips from stores located near public housing too, as poor people eat chips, and don't forget we need to ban parents from these homes, because face it, poor parents are a bad influence on children.

lagatta

How utterly cretinous they are. They were telling people what to do in their HOMES. This is not the same as a lease in private accommodation banning smoking - presumably tenants can find another flat, and a lot of tenants, including myself, would prefer to be in a smokefree building.

This is a stupid attack on poor people.

And it would be so easy to do positive things - organise smoking cessation campaigns along with the residents of social housing, provide access to and funding for smoking cessation clinics. There are community groups now that help people in social housing organise community kitchens, healthful food buying plans and other initiatives to help people on limited incomes live better, and take charge of their health.

Francesca, you should always identify the source of a quote, and the media article (or council meeting, whatever) at the origin of this story.

Stockholm

Why do so many poor people smoke in the first place? You'd think that with cigarettes being so expensive - smoking would be a past time of the rich.

madmax

This is an attack on poor people.  

rural - Francesca rural - Francesca's picture

It is often cheaper to smoke than eat

Also many people don't  plan on being poor, so they start smoking and then are faced with poverty, and perhaps that's the only 'feel good' thing they do for themselves.

When the world is kicking the crap out of you, enduring the challenges of quiting are not easy.

We need to not judge, when it comes to poverty.  We need to resouce and empower as Laggatta has suggested

Stockholm

"

It is often cheaper to smoke than eat

Also many people don't  plan on being poor, so they start smoking and
then are faced with poverty, and perhaps that's the only 'feel good'
thing they do for themselves."

How can it be "cheaper to smoke than to eat"? A pack of cigarettes is what eight or nine bucks? I could buy a t-bone steak at Loblaws for less than that!

What is "feel good" about smoking?? The one time i had a puff of a cigarette all it did was make me cough like an old man with TB and gavce me a burning pain in my lungs.  If people want to "feel good" - why don't they just masturbate? it's free!!

The notion that people get hooked on cigarettes first and later on become poor would explain how the incidence of smoking might be the same across income categories. But every statistic i've seen shows that the lower the peoples incomes are - the HIGHER the likelihood of smoking. In fact, i read that some estimates in the UK are that low-income people there spend as much as THIRTY PERCENT of their disposable income on cigarettes!

Cueball Cueball's picture

Cigarettes are and appetite suppresant. Cigarettes are available in more than the $10 packaged form, and it is still fairly easy to get a good supply without spending the amount people pay for luxury cigarettes. Anyone who smoke who spent any amount of time hungry, a group who I am sure Stockholm is not a member, will be able to tell you that cigarettes reduce food cravings. It is a fact.

Stockholm

I guess that explains why many women in particular think that if they smoke they will stay slim. People sure do get thin when they are having radiation treatments and chemotherapy for lung cancer caused by smoking.

I realize that outright prohibition of smoking might not work - yet. So why not have a multi-faceted program to create a smoke-free Canada.

1. Raise the legal age for smoking from 16 to 18.

2. Impose MASSIVE fines on shop-keepers selling tobacco to anyone 18, plus mandatory jail terms for anyone over 18 who gives a cigarette to anyone under 18.

3. make it illegal to smoke within the same building as any children or in any vehicle that has kids in it. A third infraction should mean having kids put in the care of the Children's Aid Society.

4, Mandatory multi-year jail terms for tobacco smugglers and the creation of border control at the exits from First Nation reserves so any "cheap cigarettes" being smuggled can be seized and destroyed.  

5. Ban all colours and all logos on cigarette packs so that they have no branding and no visual appeal of any kind.

We have a lot to proud of in Canada. We have managed to reduce the smoking rate from 47% in 1975 to the current 18% - now we just have to get rid of that last 18% and make smoking go away once and for all.

 "John Fraser, a program director at the Centre for Equality
Rights in Accommodation in Toronto, said because people with lower
incomes are over-represented in the smoking population, imposing the
ban could be construed as discrimination against low-income families."

I would like to ask John Fraser whether another interpretation is that if in fact people with lower-incomes are "over-represented" in the smoking population - it is evidence that the tobacco industry is guilty of genocide against the poor.

madmax

Stockholm wrote:
"

It is often cheaper to smoke than eat

Also many people don't  plan on being poor, so they start smoking and then are faced with poverty, and perhaps that's the only 'feel good' thing they do for themselves."

How can it be "cheaper to smoke than to eat"? A pack of cigarettes is what eight or nine bucks? I could buy a t-bone steak at Loblaws for less than that!

What is "feel good" about smoking?? The one time i had a puff of a cigarette all it did was make me cough like an old man with TB and gavce me a burning pain in my lungs.  If people want to "feel good" - why don't they just masturbate? it's free!!

The notion that people get hooked on cigarettes first and later on become poor would explain how the incidence of smoking might be the same across income categories. But every statistic i've seen shows that the lower the peoples incomes are - the HIGHER the likelihood of smoking. In fact, i read that some estimates in the UK are that low-income people there spend as much as THIRTY PERCENT of their disposable income on cigarettes!

 

People bum smokes from others. Visitors come over with smokes. And Hamilton is close to Six Nations where cheap smokes are made and sold.

As for smoking and poverty. I am not certain, but smoking and health care workers is huge. It is ironic how many women I see, who make a good living in the Health Services who are chain smokers.

But this isn't about smoking? It is about control.

 

 

 

Star Spangled C...

Stockholm wrote:

As for smoking and poverty. I am not certain, but smoking and health care workers is huge. It is ironic how many women I see, who make a good living in the Health Services who are chain smokers.

I'm a doctor and i smoke!!!

I have mixed feelings about this Hamilton idea. I'm uncomfortable with telling people what tehy can and cannot do in the privacy of their own homes. On the other hand, smoking IS a serious health issue and highly addictive (don't I know it) and costs a ton of money (again, don't I know it). if you can't afford pay for your own housing, you really shouldn't be (literally) setting money on fire. And, yes, someone said others could give them the smokes, but tehy are addiction-forming. Part of social assistance should be about getting people back in control over their lives and giving assistance to kick bad habits. I'd like to see things like giving them free packs of Nicorette or other smoking cessation products.

George Victor

Perhaps reintroducing a law banning cigarette advertising should be first on anyone's legal agenda. You know, the white collar criminal element.

Can't imagine any action against the poor bastards without that, at the very least, as a first requirement.

And perhaps those already in residence could be allowed to puff out their pathetic lives and only newcomers affected by a ban?

Not sure privacy is pertinent, unless the veneration of the individual is taken to a libertarian extreme. That gets lots of kids smoking in the first place...you know, freedom for the teeny bopper?

rural - Francesca rural - Francesca's picture

Poverty is an even greater health risk than smoking.

But we won't want to focus on that now would we?

Stockholm

Its not a zero sum game. There's no reason why we can't attack poverty and also attack smoking etc...In fact attacking smoking also helps reduce poverty. A very quick way for a person to become poor is if they have to stop working due to a diagnosis with lung cancer or emphysema or COPD etc... Chronic illness is a major risk factor leading to poverty - so a top priority should be to reduce the levels of chronic illness and a good way to do that is to get people not to smoke.

I'm also totally in favor of mandatory minimum jail sentences for tobacco company executives who are complicit in cigarette smuggling etc...

lagatta

Nor on the issue of controls over the lives of the poor. Foucault wrote about that decades ago, about the great "enfermement" - poorhouses, prisons, hospitals.

I very much support HELPING people quit, and Jamie-type initiatives to teach people deprived of skills as well as money how to cook, and community-food-buying schemes to give poor people some access to nutritious foodstuffs. But meddling, telling people they can't have a smoke or a beer because they have access to social housing is the opposite of respect and empowerment.

rural - Francesca rural - Francesca's picture

Stockholm wrote:

Its not a zero sum game. There's no reason why we can't attack poverty and also attack smoking etc...In fact attacking smoking also helps reduce poverty. A very quick way for a person to become poor is if they have to stop working due to a diagnosis with lung cancer or emphysema or COPD etc... Chronic illness is a major risk factor leading to poverty - so a top priority should be to reduce the levels of chronic illness and a good way to do that is to get people not to smoke.

I'm also totally in favor of mandatory minimum jail sentences for tobacco company executives who are complicit in cigarette smuggling etc...

But we're not talking about people who MAY become poor, we're talking about the poor who are poor right now.

I totally agree if poor people could stop smoking then they'd have more money, be healthier etc.

My concern is that this is not a discussion about banning smoking in rental units across the board, just the poor people's rental units.

It's like someone just decided smoking was going to be the flag ship of poverty reduction, without asking what it is the poor people needed.

More punative rules, more snooping people, more hiding and being afraid of agenices because someone might "tell".

If they really want to change people's lives and the lives of children, make them dry communties too.

But that then becomes a 'class' judgement.

You can't have your sale moldy food bank cake and eat it too

George Victor

It's unanimous then. Hamilton must not follow through on this.

We will, however, note that parts of Hamilton  are among the poorest (lowest income) districts in the province. I wonder about the social/political dynamics at work among councillors as a result of this socio-economic fact.  I wonder how  Ms. Horwath would describe the factors at work here, and what it might portend for a future that threatens to replicate Hamilton in various manufacturing areas.

What social sectors are tugging the councillors chains? (And, note, that folks at Queen's Park WERE promising to upload responsibility for social housing again - before the economic storm hit. I'll bet folks are in great municipal tax pain and councillors are looking for any pretext to apear the white knights in this, eh?

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:

My concern is that this is not a discussion about banning smoking in rental units across the board, just the poor people's rental units.

Actually, just the government-subsidized units.

If the government gives you a break on rent, so that you can go spend that on smokes, they're basically in the position of subsidizing your smokes.

I'm not saying I'm in favour of the ban, but neither am I going to believe that the municipal government is doing this out of cruelty or malice.  They have a right and a responsibility to at least ask themselves whether or not they should be subsidizing smoking.

Also, I'm really not convinced, given the price of a package of smokes and the price of a pound of ground beef, some potatoes and some carrots, that the "real" reason that the poor are overrepresented in the population of smokers is because a deck of smokes is really cheaper than eating.

I'm willing to bet that there's a much more plausible reason that nobody wants to say out loud.

 

 

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

That is fucking bullshit, Snert. Who are you, or anyone, to say what the poor can and cannot spend their money on? What moralizing crap.

lagatta

What would that more plausible reason be, snert? That we want the poor to die early of heart attacks, emphysema and lung cancer?

There is not a single person here who has argued that smoking is a "good" thing, and several of us have advanced concrete ideas that would actually help people who can't afford the expensive smoking cessation programmes to get help conquering their addiction.

Nobody is subsididing smoking, cable TV, takeaway pizza or poor fashion choices by providing affordable housing to people below a certain income level. It is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS what they spend their money on, whether they earned it in a low-paying or precarious job or are on some kind of benefit (EI, welfare, disability, OAP + supplement, or whatever). Those are benefits, and sadly inadequate ones, that society has deemed necessary minima for people who cannot work temporarily or permanently for whatever reason, or have reached an age when people are no longer expected to have to work.

Until it left town, every year we got the Grand Pricks here for the FI racing and stupid, wanton spending festival. Some of those jerks would spend more on a single bottle of rare champagne or other posh booze than a person on welfare receives in a month. But I guess being rich, they are allowed to throw their money around unwisely.

There is a deep lack of compassion in evidence here.

My father died of smoking when I was 15. He finally died of lung cancer after two heart attacks, phlebitis and many other serious smoking-related ailments.

And 12 years ago I lost three friends in the same months. All three deaths were smoking-related.

And I'm very sensitive to cigarette smoke, probably because of some bronchial damage from dear old dad. Nobody knew of the dangers of second-hand smoke way back then, so that is a moot point.

So I'm really not a fan of the evil weed. But I'm much less a fan of moralising control over people who are already marginalised and stigmatised by poverty, and by health-ayatollism in general.

I'd rather approach the question of the high smoking rate among poor people a) by improving minimal living standards and b) by schemes that will help people quit, and involve community associations and people in initiatives that will contribute to general improved physical, mental and emotional health.

Other than free smoking cessation programmes, this would include access to free, community health and exercise facilities and the equipment people need to take part in sports (I know several people who have found that being on a team was an impetus to give up smoking, eat better etc). And safer neighbourhoods that encourage "everyday exercise" such as walking and cycling.

A lot of people smoke, or smoke more than they would, because they are anxious or depressed. (The Hamilton clampdown would make them even more anxious, about losing their homes, about snooping neighbours with a grudge, etc). I don't have any ideas offhand - and I don't want these people put on valium instead of nicotine - but no doubt other people on the board and in real life community associations do.

Stockholm

Actually any landlord can refuse to rent to smokers. I for one would NEVER rent to a smoker in a million years. The last thing i want is for someone to destroy my property with smoke damage - not to mention how often smokers start residential fires with their careless habits.

I agree that it might not be fair to make existing tenants stop smoking when they first moved in without any rules about smoking. But why not say that any future tenants have to sign an oath never to smoke and make smoking in the unit grounds for eviction since it constitutes destruction of property. Or at the very least make them pay for the cost fumigation etc...

Snert Snert's picture

You seem to have glossed over the part where I said:

Quote:
I'm not saying I'm in favour of the ban

But at any rate, it's not up to me, it's up to the municipality.  I'm just pointing out that if a municipality is basically giving you money in the form of a subsidy, they might expect some say in whether or not you spend that money on something like cigarettes.

I've heard many people saying that if we go ahead and subsidize the floundering auto manufacturers, we should be making certain demands in exchange for what amounts to free money for them.  If they announced their intent to give the subsidy straight to shareholders, nobody would say "who are we to tell them what they can do with their money".  We'd be insisting that it's not really their money, and therefore shouldn't be "no strings attached".

Added:

Quote:
What would that more plausible reason be, snert?

Some have suggested that smoking is a way for the poor to thumb their nose, or an act of rebellion, or other motivations that don't have the same good optics as "a replacement for food".  I just think that the "it's cheaper than eating, and THAT'S why" is implausible. 

lagatta

No, you have absolutely no right to tell a person receiving a supplement or minimum income benefit what to do with their money. It is not the same thing at all as a "subsidy" to capitalists, or even a strings-attached grant that requires someone to study, produce cultural work or whatever.

It is a minimum floor on what people are ENTITLED to as human beings in a wealthy society. It is none of your fucking business if they use the money unwisely.

remind remind's picture

The municipal government are not giving money to anyone. Subsidized housing comes from tax payer dividends, and last time I looked, everyone fucking paid taxes including the poor.

Plus your example in respect to a financial bail out, is apples and oranges, and perhaps a few bananas too.

 ETA a comment in response to snert's addition of:

snert wrote:
Some have suggested that smoking is a way for the poor to thumb their
nose, or an act of rebellion, or other motivations that don't have the
same good optics as "a replacement for food".
Unfuckingbelievable, that you think you can come here and poor bash with this type of bull shit lies.

 

___________________________________________________________
"watching the tide roll away"

rural - Francesca rural - Francesca's picture

I have always felt, that one of our most fundemenatal rights as human beings, is the right to make a bad decision.

If we look at the health impact of smoking as the reason for the ban, then we have to look at all other aspects of health and lifestyle.

 

Snert Snert's picture

Ya, I think I'll just recuse myself from this thread.

Was today a bad day for everyone, or do threads always turn this hostile this quickly around here? 

Bookish Agrarian

While I don't believe in mandating behaviour, I do know from the time I worked as a contract cleaner that cleaning a residence that was occupied by a smoker is very, very hard work to get it clean.  Even then you can still smell an underlying residue of tobacco smoke.

rural - Francesca rural - Francesca's picture

I don't think anyone is saying it's a good idea, smoking, or that it doesn't impact negatively, but where do you draw the line?

Do you ban all pets as well, even good pets leave dander and the next person maybe allergic.

My concern is that this is another instance where classism rears its head and allows one class of people to decide the actions of another.

Bookish Agrarian

Sorry I wasn't really commenting on the situation.  I agree this is a slippery, slippery slope.  I was just commenting on how freaking hard it is to clean up a residence from a smoker.  The worse was when I was cleaning a place and thought the walls were a beige colour.  Moved the furniture left behind and discovered the wall was in fact a fairly bright yellow.  I was smelling smoke for weeks afterwards.  But in the end how do you tell what people can and can't do in their own homes.  And they are their homes.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Snert wrote:

Ya, I think I'll just recuse myself from this thread.

Was today a bad day for everyone, or do threads always turn this hostile this quickly around here? 

I suppose all of us who found your comment offensive could have had a bad day, although I felt mine went pretty well. The other possibility, of course, is that your comment was offensive, paternalistic, classist and ignorant.

Incidentally, do you know what 'recuse' means?

oldgoat

First of all, let me say that few people dislike smoking as much as I.

 

Ok, I don't think this is a slippery slope.  I think it's a well and truely burning heap right at the bottom of the slope.  This is naked paternalistic poor-bashing, folks.  This is the state telling people they can't smoke in thier homes, where they pay rent, using the leverage that the rent is subsidised.  Fuck that!

 

Here in Scarborough, I'm in public housing all the time.  Most of my clients smoke.  IF they raise the issue of smoking as something they'd like to address with me for either financial or health reasons, and ONLY IF, then I am happy to discuss smoking cessation techniques. Actually, most do.  My clients also, knowing I am a non-smoker, have done me the courtesy of asking if they mind if they smoke around me.  I thank them for asking and tell them to go ahead.  I'm not going to tell someone what they can do in thier own homes.  They have life tough enough as it is.

 

If the government wants to try to outlaw smoking for everyone in thier own homes fine.  Don't think they'd get too far though.

TVParkdale

madmax


But this isn't about smoking? It is about control.

 

 

Exactly. So, privately housed individuals can do whatever they like on the premises, but the poor are dictated to?

When do we start telling them what to eat, and whether or not they are entitled to a bottle of beer?

OOPS sorry, You're disabled, or a mom, or between jobs, so we get to march into your house like the Gestapo and tell you how to live. 

How many people are they going to turf out onto the street for breaking the rules?

Why not just caulk the apartments [which would cut down bedbugs and roaches too]?

Hamilton pulls this off and it will quickly become the squatting capital of Canada. Guaranteed. 

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Ah, the arrogance of the comfortable... Is there any cure for it? I would suggest that the proponents of the ban be encouraged to to read George Orwell's The Road to Wigan Pier, or at least chapters five and six. If they don't see themselves in the description of the millionaire recommending the breakfasts of orange juice and Ryvita biscuits they obviously don't have enough empathy to ever be placed in the position of making decisions affecting someone else's life.

Stockholm

"So, privately housed individuals can do whatever they like on the premises, but the poor are dictated to"

 

You don't have to be poor to be dictated to - just be a renter at any income level. I have high income tenants and i will not allow anyone to rent from me if they are going to stink up the place with cigarette smoke and ruin the value of my property.

Ghislaine

What about the argument that privately housed people can afford to rent somewhere where their children won't be affected by second-hand smoke, but the poor do not have this luxury?

 Smoking is banned from hospitals for all income levels. I do not see a problem with this ban because I see it as unfair for the poor to have to live in that environment. When smoking was banned from bars and restaurant, it was an incentive to quit.

lagatta

Ideally, there would be smoking-permitted and smokefree social housing, as there is smoking-permitted and smokefree private housing. I'd certainly opt for the smokefree! But we are far from there now, and there is so much tolerance for dictating to poor people "for their own good".

I hate smoking. There is no smoker beside me or beneath me (I live on the top storey of a Montréal triplex, a housing co-op). There is still a faint whiff of cigarette smoke in the staircase now and then, though I knew the tenants before me didn't smoke either.

But I hate moralising to poor people more. Stockholm's tenants can certainly find somewhere else to live.

Pine Picnic

Low Income Disabilities / Health Lens

When I view a proposal for clean air in subsidized housing complexes through a low income disabilities / health lens, I see a population (among others) that is low income with permanent (including chronic or cyclic) disabilities, and that is therefore more likely than average to need to and to try to avoid breathing (or capturing in their hair and clothing) any 2nd hand tobacco air. It is toxic and consequential to them even in the short term.

For some people whose health is already permanently over challenged -- not to mention whose incomes significantly exacerbate that reality -- even the short term effects of accidentally breathing any 2nd hand tobacco air are not limited to merely the minutes they need to breath that poisoned air either. For some people, merely a single, accidental breath of 2nd hand tobacco air can mess up their health for 1-3 days.

The short term results for some health challenged people include: Headaches, brain fog, digestion issues, and / or inflammation or aches of the head, stomach, joints, muscles, and / or other auto immune and immune system responses. The effects certainly affect their cognitive, mental, emotional, and sometimes physical performance, their performance at work, social relating, and recreation or leisure.

Although people who are low income with permanent disabilities are more likely than average to need to and to try to avoid any 2nd hand tobacco air, their health related permanent poverty severely limits their opportunity to obtain a rental home that is free of 2nd hand tobacco air inside and out. (They generally exist on federal or provincial disability benefits and even if they are able to obtain and maintain employment, our governments normally severely limit the earnings they are able to benefit from, regardless of their generally higher than average health related living expenses.)

Especially low income people with permanent disabilities should not need to suffer the chemical effects of 2nd hand tobacco air anywhere, particularly at home, whether inside or outside on their balconies, patios, or little townhouse yards.

Toxic air does not know where to stay and moves along with other constantly moving air. So, ensuring clean air for only some units of a housing complex does not work. (That reality also makes most bus shelter and other outdoor smoke bans in Canada ineffective and even exacerbating. Alternatively, Canada should bring in outdoor smoking areas, if it cannot make its publicly owned housing complexes, sidewalks, public places, and downtowns free of poisonous 2nd hand air, which so far it fails to do, and many people suffer short term. Likely long term too, though the numbers are less quantifiable.)

Entire subsidized housing complexes dedicated to low income people who don't experience the toxic effects of 2nd hand tobacco air may be an alternative, however, given Canada's and my own province's extremely limited subsidized housing funds, I personally could not ethically justify prioritizing it ahead of that for people who, for health and health-related income reasons, have an even more limited opportunity to obtain healthy, safe, affordable housing. All public policy involves financial priorities. (The latter has never been so obvious as now given that Canada has so far removed tens of Billions of dollars from the lower and middle classes and moved it up to fund bailouts / investments that primarily support the upper middle class, upper class, and corporations. Billions.)

A healthy and safe home should not be too much for Canadians to ask that their governments ensure all Canadian citizens who for doctor-attested health reasons are unable to afford it themselves. Healthy, clean air also should not be too much to ask. I expect that like healthy, safe rental housing from government for those whose permanent health conditions preclude it, healthy, clean air more than pays for itself.

Pine Picnic

lagatta

Who is this a quote from? Please indicate references and sources.

The only solution to that would be to have smoking and smokefree social housing. Because addiction is a genuine health problem as well, and it is not realistic to expect that people who have smoked for 40 years or more will all be able to quit. Tobacco is the most addictive substance known.

lagatta

Huh?

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

lagatta wrote:
...Tobacco is the most addictive substance known.

Even more than self-righteousness? (and no, not aimed at anyone in particular, but if anyone decides to take offense, yes, it was them I was talking about)

CanadianAlien

It is ridiculous to make this an issue about trampling the rights of the poor .. smoker or non-smoker victim of secondhand smoke, are both living in public housing.

This post begins with quote:

Quote:
imposing the ban could be construed as discrimination against low-income families. "Social tenants don't have a choice to be there. They're living there because they don't have a lot of other options," he said.

But this quote could be flipped to read:

Quote:
NOT imposing the ban could be construed as discrimination against low-income families BY EXPOSING THEM TO SECONDHAND SMOKE. "Social tenants don't have a choice to be there. They're living there because they don't have a lot of other options,"

The following replies are on the right track .. this issue should be about damage and impact to facility and people's health:

Quote:
Stockholm: Actually any landlord can refuse to rent to smokers. I for one would NEVER rent to a smoker in a million years. The last thing i want is for someone to destroy my property with smoke damage - not to mention how often smokers start residential fires with their careless habits.

Quote:
Pine Picnic: When I view a proposal for clean air in subsidized housing complexes through a low income disabilities / health lens, I see a population (among others) that is low income with permanent (including chronic or cyclic) disabilities, and that is therefore more likely than average to need to and to try to avoid breathing (or capturing in their hair and clothing) any 2nd hand tobacco air. It is toxic and consequential to them even in the short term.

The right to a safe healthy environment should trump all other rights.  But status quo eg allowing smoking in MUD particularly public housing, leaves non-smokers and smokers alike exposed to well known undisputed often severe health impacts.  If you want to make this an issue about the poor, how can you ignore non-smoker's rights?

jas

Yup. I actually support a smoking ban on any multi-unit dwellings, whether they're social housing or condos for the rich. And I think it's coming. Banning smoking in a building does not prevent someone from smoking. They can smoke outside. Nor is it "for their own good". It's for everyone in the building's good. On the other hand, allowing smoking, especially in social housing, unfairly exposes the non-smokers, who are as dependent on their gov't housing as the smokers are, to bad air on a continuous basis. I don't see how the government can reconcile this with other health policies.

If you want to have smoking units, you need to install high quality, smoke-sucking ventilation systems. Which landlords, including gov't, can also do.

 

CanadianAlien

Also, air filters may not be able to resolve this issue

Quote:
Air filters, purifiers and ventilation systems cannot eliminate second-hand smoke. Some of the smoke and larger particles from the air may be removed, but they will not remove the smaller particles or gases found in second-hand smoke.

The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the world's leading association on indoor air quality standards, considers that there is no acceptable ventilation system that can protect individuals exposed to second-hand smoke.

James Repace, an internationally recognized second-hand smoke physicist, conducted a review for ASHRAE on controlling tobacco smoke. He concluded that, “ventilation technology cannot possibly achieve acceptable indoor air quality in the presence of smoking, leaving smoking bans as the only alternative.”

CanadianAlien

Agree, hard to understand how govt can reconcile not banning smoking in public housing with other health policies.

Ironically, red herrings of 'Right to smoke', 'trampling the rights of the poor', and 'govt dictating behaviour' can be more logically and empathetically employed to support ban on smoking especially in public housing whcih is populated by people who are likely more at risk from secondhard smoke (see annotate qoute below) than the general population, combine with fact that public housing is a refuge of last resort, and residents have no other recourse than to remain in the toxic environment.

Quote:
First,  a  large  segment  of  society currently  rents  their home. Census  statistics  indicate  that approximately 34% of the population rents.13 Second, the nature of MURD is such that ETS exposure is not an idle threat. Aside from the  potential  exposure  to  ETS  in  common  areas,  “there  is  also  a  risk  of  smoke  entering apartments  through  windows,  air  conditioners,  holes  around  pipes  and  electric  lines,  gaps between floors and walls, and from hallways.”14 Third, demographically, people living in MURD are  more  likely  to  be  or  have  within  close  physical  proximity  a  current  smoker,  thereby increasing their potential to be exposed to ETS. Although a comprehensive discussion is beyond the scope of this paper, this is nevertheless a relevant consideration. Studies have shown that the percentage  of  people  renting  increases  proportionately  as  income  decreases.15  Similarly,  the lower a household’s  income  the higher  the percentage of  that  income  is dedicated  to housing.16
 
Income is also inversely related to smoking prevalence.17 Statistically, then, occupants of MURD are  more  likely  to  be  smokers,  increasing  the  likelihood  of  ETS  exposure  to  other  tenants. Furthermore,  given  the  lower  socioeconomic  status  of MURD  occupants,  the  harm  caused  by ETS is compounded by the statistically higher probability that such persons are already at risk of debilitating  health  conditions.18    ETS,  a  dangerous  substance  at  any  exposure  level,  harnesses more  destructive  potential  amongst  such  a  vulnerable  population.  This  amplifies  the  need  to more fully explore how to protect nonsmokers (and smokers) in residential settings.

 

http://smokefreehousingbc.ca/tenants/quiet.html

Rexdale_Punjabi Rexdale_Punjabi's picture

hmm the democratic way. let ppl in the hood vote on it. Me yo I dont like cigarettes aint got a problem with the smokers just dont like em n str8 up ill proly die b4 the second hand smoke killes me so w.e My view all those who say they subsidizing smoking they should be able to be told what to do etc. Plz kindly STFU and rethink ur classit paternalizing views. What I think have areas for smoking, also the thing is public housing aint always extremly highrise like a lot of the public in rex is low-rise townhouses. If ppl wanna smoke in their unit and on their front yard which outside cool. In a actual building it fuccs shit up cuz it goes to other ones too and kids and stuff there get fucced by it too not to mention more ppl have pre-existing dieseases which are made worse by the smoking.

Don't ban it encourage and provide ways for ppl to quit esp a cash thing because when ppl realize how much more money they would have by not smoking and other stuff many will quit esp if they get help. Many won't and that how it is I see nuff kids my age n younger in high school turning to needles, pipes and cigz. When ppl have problems it happens but only banning it in public housing is a hit on poor ppl. One dude forget his name now some jewish guy said his friend said in the late 90z that he see's tobacco being banned because any thing that becomes class related to the poor gets banned. What do we see happening lol. Str8 up if you add more policing to enforce it ur just fuccng with every1 in the hood and just putting the ban on fuccs with ppl who already have many problems besides being poor and addicted to tobacco. It a fucced up problem outright bans n shit like that never work esp because no1 is gonna snitch. Esp not over somebody smoking I can see smoking being used as an excuse to evict ppl even if they don't really smoke. I can also see marijuna and tobacco being put in the same category.

Fucc I can see both sides of the issue and can't really decide helping ppl quit is the only one that would be good for both.

TVParkdale

Catchfire wrote:
That is fucking bullshit, Snert. Who are you, or anyone, to say what the poor can and cannot spend their money on? What moralizing crap.

 

Amen.

 

There is an assumption that someone in subsidized housing is "less than" and should have less rights than someone in standard housing.

What next, security in the hallways in case they smell pot smoke under the door and kick it in to check for a legal compassion card?

OOOOOoooo we're "subsidizing bad habits". Oh and the taxpaying working poor in housing are subsidizing GM for cars they'll never be able to afford to drive . Wow, now that's PROGRESS.

Oh, while we're at it--let's put security on the door to frisk for bottles in case some poor fella on ODSP buys a beer or two. Just because it might interfere with someone's psych meds. Oh gee--he has lung cancer from working with asbestous? Hee, hee hee OOPS--wrong GUY! He's the one we're supposed to bust for smoking!

Jeebus, Snert,  get a clue.

earthquakefish

Now, being of the reasoning sort, I hope, and having family that lives on both opposing spectrum's of this argument. 

Let's measure this with a certain different kind of angle, to Snert, is cutting the alcoholic off of his addiction compassionate since he can no longer afford it?  You may say 'yes' - are you then willing to help that person with all symptoms of withdrawal?  No matter what consequence it has upon your life?  Deprivation and what not... addiction brings this upon the user of the drug.  I doubt the city will do this; or has the foresight.  And even then why not even the playing field and ban it abroad?  And then offer assistance to everyone - much more equitable.

If the city wants to impose this ban they are acting as the parent - one that would not apply if you were wealthy.  Think, precisely, of the meanings of this implication - if you are poor you are dependent.  Do you think, in all reasoning, poor people don't already feel dependent?  The inherent flaw of subsidizing is that it makes people indifferent to financial responsibilities, and you can extend this to life decisions.  And I'm certain studies can, and have, found a correlation between these points.  A result of an already lacking sense of autonomy - especially within a society that demonizes social-assistance, but upholds itself as compassionate -which is contradicting.  If this purely was about smoking then there is, absolutely, no need to focus upon subsidized housing.  This is strictly paternalism.

No degradation meant, but all people I've met who are living in subsidized housing enjoy life on a moment-to-moment basis - strictly a result of they can't plan; not by _our_ definition of planning, any ways.  The oppression felt by a life shortened with no plans is, in this instance, moot in relation to autonomy of the moment.  This is a condition of poverty, not a lack of want of life.  Disparity hurts; disparity haunts.  Cigarettes offer reprieve, simply, as does any other drug.

G. Muffin

earthquakefish wrote:
The inherent flaw of subsidizing is that it makes people indifferent to financial responsibilities, and you can extend this to life decisions.

I don't see how helping make rent affordable makes people financially indifferent.  And, even if it did, why should this extend to "life decisions"?

Quote:
No degradation meant, but all people I've met who are living in subsidized housing enjoy life on a moment-to-moment basis - strictly a result of they can't plan; not by _our_ definition of planning, any ways. 

This is a pretty offensive stereotype.  At the moment, I receive federal assistance and still feel able to plan, even by "our definition" of planning, whatever that is.

Rexdale_Punjabi Rexdale_Punjabi's picture

earthquake str8 up the most u can plan is a month maybe if u luccy cuz how u know u even gonna have a job or anything till then. U cant plan u gotta live it dont mean u gotta be stupid about it but still u cant even say that getting help makes u what lazy? is that what ur saying? are u saying that because we dont have the financial means to lets say know not as "surely" as you are someone where shit will be in 20 years means that we dont know how to plan? there a dif in not knowing and not being able to.

 

edit- Lets break it down further. Indifferent? are u jus talkin shit or you been thru anythign or known anything? and whos our? u n who? who are u gonna come on here and say u know all this shit when all u doin is lookin down on ppl checc yaself b real talk idk what 1/2 ur post means the part I do see looks to me like a rich white boi lookin down on others n saying and talking about something he aint got no clue about

jas

earthquakefish wrote:

If the city wants to impose this ban they are acting as the parent - one that would not apply if you were wealthy.  

No, they are acting as a landlord, applying a policy that would apply the same to all tenants, smoking and non-smoking, rich or poor. It's not an anti-smoking policy, it's a clean air policy, one that benefits everyone.  Such policies exist in other dwellings too, that don't just affect poor people. It's a right of the landlord currently, but should be a right of renters, to live in a clean air dwelling. Just like the right to work in a clean air workplace.

earthquakefish

Rexdale_Punjabi, first as you raise the most interesting question, and rebuttal, but not a rebuttal but more of a request.  If you want where my perspective comes from I'll try and give it to you, language is not necessarily the right tool - but all we have!  Grew up in rural Ontario, under a middle-class income family, in the city (toronto, for comparison) this would've been a slightly lower end of the of the middle because of cost-of-living differences. So yes, at once I will ceed your white rich boy statement - but then reject it as nothing other then divisive - if poverty is to be solved it is from the ground up we need a genuine dialog about it.  Additionally, my thoughts, emotions, passions towards the subject are raised internally and externally - if I who had no true reason to want to understand and felt that it was a duty of mine - it states something to me of the human spirit and compassion.  Those are the internal, I believe all humans are equal and that have the same rights to be loved - and poverty can infringe upon this (the moment you have to make sacrifices that offend one's definition of personhood this happens).  The external reasons, are slightly longer, and perhaps formed things better for me was that my lover grew up in a household with a mother who suffered from a severe mental-illness, schizophrenia, and the systematic structures, plus the cultural stigma's surrounding the disease drove them into poverty and I have an intimate detail knowledge of the hardships and despair that brought upon her family.  This does not give me direct experiental knowledge, but intimacy nonetheless of the emotions involved.  I will not, and need not, give the intimate details of what the family went through for this - but that alone should give you some level of knowledge that I might have some knowledge.

That being stated, I also reason that a being that wants to reject certain structures of society, but can't without punity - will find an equatable, but inherently different, meaning of the word poverty - lack of choice.  Probably why the spiritual person becomes an ascetic and renounces the world.  Now, a lot of this is not directly pertaining to subject at hand, only in abstract land does it pertain.

I hope this satisifies your wishes, I respect your style as you bring a different perspective to the dialog that happens upon this site.  Dialog I don't normally contribute to, as I find most of the conversations become very divisive.  All beings being equal, no matter what disparity we have in systematic structures and cultural, I have no option but to respect each view - not necessarily stating I have to agree with it.  Perspective forms reality.  And by the way, I believe in a structure that doesn't place merit prior to being - thus my implication was NOT of lazy.  Sorry, if you read it that way.

G. Pie,

Hopefully, the above gives you more insights into my formation of that thought, I will mention I was also inhibriated at the time!  (not an excuse, but even re-reading it, personally, I don't find it offensive - only offensive if read one way and I can't project each probable reading).  My apologies to you, sincerely, and by the way I'm glad to hear you don't feel that way.  My opinion was observational based upon my experiences - I try to reject stereotypes. These emotions do happen to people who -feel- dependent, at no fault of their own, and only through dialog can these things be addressed - yes I took liberty having not being directly in those shoes but I, also, don't believe acknowledging these things has to be offensive - and rather could be quite constructive.

Jas,

The difference is the wealthy still have choices to live elsewhere - apples and oranges.  I know the argument can be stated in reverse with non-smokers who have no choice (perceived lack of choice, or literal lack of choice) but I also, and my personal ethics allow for someone to make bad decisions.  Iif the state is your only avenue for housing and the state then, discriminately, in my view, only applies it to their own dwellings and not across the board - as the power is invested in them for them to do so, I end up with an unanswered why, only, the public housing?  Thats what makes me view this as the state acting as the parent and being superior.

jas

earthquakefish wrote:

Jas,

The difference is the wealthy still have choices to live elsewhere - apples and oranges.  I know the argument can be stated in reverse with non-smokers who have no choice (perceived lack of choice, or literal lack of choice) but I also, and my personal ethics allow for someone to make bad decisions.  Iif the state is your only avenue for housing and the state then, discriminately, in my view, only applies it to their own dwellings and not across the board - as the power is invested in them for them to do so, I end up with an unanswered why, only, the public housing?  Thats what makes me view this as the state acting as the parent and being superior.

If the city, province or federal gov't is providing the housing, then that makes them the landlords, and as public landlords, just as with private landlords, they have a right to determine whether smoking will be permitted in the building or not. As keepers of the public interest, it is much more in keeping with already existing policies for them to apply an across-the-board clean air policy than to allow smoking, when, especially as provincial or federal gov'ts, they are putting time, money and energy into health awareness campaigns, including new non-smoking campaigns and legislation. It would be inconsistent for a gov't to allow smoking in its facilities if its health policies endorse smoke-free lifestyles.

I understand the point about low-income smokers not having a choice as to housing, but as you already acknowledged, that argument goes both ways. Non-smokers who are dependent on social housing should not have to have their health compromised in exchange for housing. Many people are allergic to tobacco smoke, and many people using social housing are also raising children in that social housing. You are exposing children to potentially chronic health problems in future, if not creating, by constant exposure, tobacco addiction in them.

Moreover, the argument that higher income people have more choice in housing may be moot in any case, where a city's vacancy rate may be so low as to eliminate true freedom of choice (as is the case in Winnipeg), and where many privately owned rental units still allow smoking, so, just as often as not, a non-smoker who rents (ie; someone who has a liveable income but cannot yet afford a condo or house) must rent in a building that houses smokers.

The policy should apply across the board for all social housing. Such a policy does not prevent smokers from smoking - only in their rental units. I don't know that gov'ts have the will right now to make such a policy apply to privately owned rental dwellings, but I think that may be something coming down the pike.

 

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