Monday, April 4, 2011

Debate fumes as Sydney apartments ‘butt’- out smoking

An Australian apartment block which has banned residents from smoking in their homes has sparked anger from civil libertarians. However, advocates say it could be the way of the future for high-density living.

Owners of the apartments in Sydney's inner western suburb of Ashfield agreed to introduce a by-law which bans smokers from lighting up inside their flats or even on their balconies – in the hopes of turning it into a smoke free zone in its entirety.

The move came about after some residents of the late 1960s building had complained about smoke drifting into their apartments from vents in the ceiling or from neighbours having a cigarette on their balconies. In addition, there was a constant problem with cigarette butts all over the gardens and footpaths.

It was then that some people from the community took a stand, proposing a by-law to ban all smoking in units as well as common properties. It only took two weeks for them to draft out the said request which was accepted soon after.

While those in real estate and apartment management said non-smoking residences could become more popular in high-density cities, civil libertarians labelled the move outrageous; others even claim that it is unjustifiable to prohibit the use of a lawful product in someone’s own home.

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