The APQ made itself heard in parliamentary committee on Bill 44, An Act to bolster tobacco control

Published on by Communication service

Topic(s): Regulation

According to Statistics Canada data, smoking is experiencing a slight decrease in Canada and Quebec since 2012. Thus, 19.6% of Quebecers aged 12 and older were smokers in 2014, while the rate is 18.1% for all of Canada.

The APQ is interested in the extent of the restrictions on the electronic cigarette by which the draft Act aims to assimilate its use to smoking. Because of its harmful effects and situations where batteries have exploded causing injuries the APQ agrees with the fact that the electronic cigarette should be subject to the same prohibitions as tobacco.

The Bill diminished, from 6 to 2 units, the number of apartments necessary to make it illegal to smoke in the common portions. Indeed, the tenants and co-owners should not have to deal with the consequences of other people’s smoke in the common areas and the APQ believes that it is greatly justified that, beginning from two housing units, one should start avoiding smoking in common areas.

The APQ suggests another amendment to the Tobacco Act so that the balconies as well as the courtyard of an apartment building are also considered to be common portions and therefore included in the smoking ban.

Indeed, when tenants smoke on balconies it has often the effect of inconveniencing the other occupants of the building by the smell and smoke, because balconies are often near the windows of a building. These provisions have value for the tenants themselves because they are the ones suffering the discomforts and dangers of the tobacco which others are smoking and of secondhand smoke. This is also a growing concern among tenants and property owners who have an obligation to provide peaceable enjoyment of the premises to their tenants.

This is in fact in some cases a house search criterion. In addition to the odour and possible damage to the housing as well as the increased risk of fire, frequently one finds cigarette butts littering the ground in the courtyard. This position of the APQ is also valid as far as the electronic cigarette is concerned which has its share of drawbacks and which still creates toxic odours and vapours.

Given the difficulty of changing a housing lease in this regard it would be preferable then that it would therefore be the law which establishes this change and be applicable regardless of whether the ban already exists in the lease or not.

The APQ also requests to provide the possibility for the owner who does not prohibit smoking in a housing to demand a deposit, knowing that smoke damages the walls and ceilings, by leaving a greasy residue and that it permeates the housing. Occasionally, cigarette burns are left on the floor or on the countertops of the housing.

We will keep you informed of further developments in this file.

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