QUEENSLANDERS LIVING IN APARTMENTS COULD BE PREVENTED FROM SMOKING on their balconies after a “game-changing” decision to ban one unit owner from doing so after a complaint from an upstairs neighbour. The decision was made on the basis that second-hand smoke is a hazard. The peak voice for body corporates said the decision could make it easier to ban others

The ninth-floor owner claimed the eighth-floor neighbour spends about five minutes smoking and could do so about every 20 to 40 minutes, labelling the smoke “relentless and unbearable”, causing her to be concerned about her health. The Office of the Commissioner for Body Corporate and Community Management’s adjudicator ordered that the eighth-floor owner must no longer smoke tobacco products on the balcony.

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Furthermore, it was ruled she can only smoke elsewhere within her apartment if she takes reasonable steps to ensure the smoke does not affect any person in another apartment.

“I think if we look at this in a greater context, in terms of our society, we’ve seen these changes over the last decade or more where we’ve seen continued evolving of the restrictions on smokers — can’t smoke in airports, restaurants, workplaces — but it hasn’t reached, until now, into strata, “ said Kristi Kinast, president of the Strata Community Association of Queensland. Apartment dwellers can seek information on the process from the Office of the Commissioner for Body Corporate and Community Management, and people could seek mediation or adjudication on the issue.

Former commissioner of Queensland’s Body Corporate and Community Management, Chris Irons, said the decision meant effectively anybody who can show cigarette smoke drifting from one balcony to theirs could show it is a hazard. “This I would think potentially also applies to vaping as well,” he said.

Mr Irons said smoking has been a really “tense, difficult issue” in strata for years, with little that could be done about it. With thanks, ABC News.