The pros and cons of living closely.

A North Vancouver condo owner is suing her neighbor over second-hand smoke from the neighbors patio claiming that the smoke is “a nuisance causing her stress, irritability and disrupting her sleep”. Now this sounds like a polarizing issue -Where do you draw the line between a persons right to smoke on their property and the rights of another to not have smoke pouring into their windows?

As living gets more dense in the city we live in closer proximity with our neighbors and a lot of personality variables enter the mix. Thankfully most conflicts can be worked out between neighbors and don’t end up in Court or degenerate into a Hatfield and McCoy situation, but now that this one has I wonder if the stress of being sued is driving the neighbor to smoke even more?

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But wait! You CAN do something about it! Just lobby your government representatives to legislate, legislate, legislate! Yippee! Seriously, though, it sounds like crap not being able to enjoy your place. You've got to wonder how we all got along over the last decades, tough…

pixelated memories

At first, I thought the N. Van woman might be overreacting. Last week a smoker moved in below. To those who classify it as an "annoyance" aren't understanding that, as someone who doesn't smoke, it's disgusting smelling it & impacting my lil nest. Calm down, I'm not saying it's disgusting, it's just not fair that it's making me nauseous and stinking up my furniture. I live d/t & don't love the traffic, etc, but understand it comes with the territory. Those are minor annoyances, but I'm not deluded that I should have any control over themIt's a warm night & I have to close up all the windows and the balcony door to try & cut down on the stench. Great, I can't wait til it gets really hot this summer.


Anyone that easily aggravated needs to move faaarrr away. Far enough away, that they won’t be aggravated by their neighbor’s propane barbecue wafting in their house… Far enough away that they won’t smell fertilizers wafting in from agricultural lands… And most importantly, far enough away that they won’t be a general pain in the ass to their neighbors.


Yes, yes indeed, this city and province is anal. Beautiful, sure, but sure as hell anal. Consider the ridiculous liquor laws, for example: I can't buy a bottle of wine at the same place I'm buying stuff for supper? I can only buy alcohol during a prescribed period of the day? Can't have wine with a pick nick at the beach? Sheesh! Anyone recall the "drinking cages" at the Gay Pride festival/parade on Davie a few years back. It looked ridiculous – people in small pen-like areas with chain-linked fences six feet high where they were "permitted" to sip on a beer! Pathetic. Friends visiting from abroad just laugh – and I would too, but it's just annoying, really. It's like none of the provincial/municipal law-makers have ever travelled anywhere. Anyway, this idea of banning smoking on one's balcony, please,… Read more »


"when smokes are selling whats wrong to smoke them."If bleach is selling, what's wrong with throwing it through my window and dousing my clothes & furniture?Hardly anyone is upset that people choose to inhale a noxious substance. Many people are upset when that noxious substance ends up in their airspace.


solipsist that was some facts I found to tell that discussion about this smoking chapter is boring.because when we don't like something government can ban companies anything else is like beating head on the wall.smoking lawwcb lawicbc law labour codeand employement rate of pay these things are active only in bc anywhere else its diffrence.I went to calgary I have had seen lots of green sign that actualy permit smoking beside prohibits.I went for lunch in hooters they have two part for customers larger part serve smokers and smallest part serve non smokers.same thing in jassy jack pub oneside smoker otherside non vancouver I have never seen green sign which permit smoke.and that place where I went for work they have special room for smokers.wcbI went to work in warehouse I was wearing ear protection and manager of that… Read more »


"satv said… smokers are security guards"Plus, it helps to stimulate the immune system…satv – just when I started to think that you are crazy, I realize that it is actually crazy wisdom.


smokers are security guardssmoking is not good but smoker provide security to neighbourhood.common people who do not smoke do not find a reason to stand or walk outside.smokers go out or stand in valconies provide securities to neighbourhood.smoke smell so badcomplain should be launch against smoking companies.not against smokersif you complain about smokers that help government to raise more tax.if this world would be smoke free than its hard to make world drugs free.smokers also should be careful when they choose place to smoke they should measure consequancesaway from public place,away from children actualy there is no place to is changing but smoker can drive 24 hours thats mean they can help people more than drinkers.ban on smokers or smoking company is a big benifit for liquor company.only ediction free people should be allowed to complain.people with any one… Read more »


aetakeo: All the annoyances you have mentioned already have laws in place to curb their damage. There are streets designated "local traffic only", and certain traffic calming structures are in place. Cities put limit on closing hours of bars depending on their respective area, and Strata councils generally have a say on what kind of business can open at the ground floor of a Condo. For example, it's fairly rare to see fast food places that produce strong scent, such as fried Indian food, in the ground floor of a condo. Same thing with smoking. Or barking dogs, or playing loud music. A few of my friends are seriously allergic to cigarette smoke. They would like to ban smoking all together. Of course, the middle ground is usually determined by the Strata, or better yet, by an apartment owner. One… Read more »


"hashed out"ha! Maybe they ought to try that, they will find it relaxes them, and they will think that the smoke is pretty, and smells like Grampa.


oops, ignore the countless typos.


Call it the straw that broke the camels back. Vancovuer has this myth that it's very laid back, the "west coast" relaxed atmosphere. Maybe I hang in the wrong circles but I find vancouver very uptight, especailly if anyone is critical about this city.I grew up here so I'm not new here and trashing the place, I just have a good laugh at how "uptight people are at relaxing". I came to this reliazation after travelling around a lot to different cities then moving back and really seeing it with open eyes.God forbid anyone has anything bad to say about Vancovuer.


This city has probably the most anal people on the planet. West cost laid back? Yeah right.You read about one lawsuit and suddenly an entire city of a million people is "the most anal people on the planet".Ok I guess that would make you the most hyperbolic person on the planet.


Careful what you wish for. What is more annoying? Smoking outside on a blacony OR inside their condo. Force them inside to smoke and it will go right up the walls and into the halls. People need to wake the hell up. The SMELL of tobacco smoke is not a health issue, direct second hand smoke is. Smelling it coming up the balcony and into the window is not a health concern, if it is, well then the 10,000 cars on the streets below pumping out pollution are then considered what?Bloody hell, how did we all live together 30 years ago. This city has probably the most anal people on the planet. West cost laid back? Yeah right.Having said all that, people could be a lot more courtious too! Maybe not smoke as much or outside of the building….


We live on a top floor of our condo complex, and if people smoke in patios below us, the smoke will waft up. In the summer, you pretty much have to have windows open, or you will do the slow bake. You can try to be tolerant, but tobacco or "other smoke" is something where there are health issues, and it just does not smell nice.A non smoking strata bylaw would be nice, but our Strata will not go in that route. The smoker is doing their smoking on their property, and tobacco smoking is still legal, so it is a tough proposition. I will watch this case with interest. One could argue that as Strata's do typically ban smoking on common property, one could argue that the airspace surrounding the Strata's property is also common.


Damn. I'm not a smoker, but this kind of stuff really bothers me. I mean, I live in the downtown core on a busy street, and because I'm living in a dense urban area I could be bothered by all sorts of stuff. Like, you know, people yahooing after the bars close, or singing, or how about the cars going by honking after a hockey game? Or just cars, for that matter: I don't drive. It's one of the reasons I live downtown. The cars, as far as I can tell, are probably destroying my children's futures. Can I ban those (outside my house) because they annoy me? Or, maybe, if I have a systematic problem do I work for systematic change? Oh, hey, wait: the world's not about ME.Do bans on smoking lead to bans on cooking certain foods?… Read more »


In the US, there's been several cases involving smoking and strata coucils. The most recent development is the introduction of city bylaws that force strata councils to go "smoke-free" in at least certain parts of the complex. Smoking is generally not a protected right like having children or being homossexual, therefore it doesn't violate any constitutional laws to ban people from smoking even on their own property, as long as externalities are evident.If city governments can ban smoking in bars and near hospitals, it can probably ban, or allow stratas to ban, smoking near high density buildings.

the pope

I haven't heard of this being hashed out before, but I'm sure it has – its got to be a fairly common issue with communal living.I guess thats why some buildings are 'no smoking' even in outside areas.


Has this issue been hashed out in the US yet? I sympathize with the person doing the suing, I can easily see in calm weather the smoke drifting right into their place, smelling up their furniture, etc.Tough call though.