PUBLISHED March 26, 2007 - Ottawa Citizen
The Ottawa Citizen
Re: Make homes smoke-free, March 21.
How predictable that Ellen Holmes of the Ottawa Council on Smoking and Health is calling on Minto and "all city developers" to make their multi-unit housing "smoke-free." Obviously tired of celebrating the already excessive bans on smoking in public places in Ottawa, the Council on Smoking and Health is looking for new ways to justify its existence by conjuring up new phantom fears associated with secondhand smoke.
In her letter, Ms. Holmes makes a bold claim that the evidence regarding the hazards of secondhand smoke is "irrefutable." I call on her to tell us what the evidence is, without cherry-picking a few studies that support her views. The decades of secondhand-smoke research have produced findings that are inconclusive, even for research into risks for lifelong spouses of heavy smokers.
Ms. Holmes claims that the council receives complaints from tenants who go to great extremes to shield themselves from secondhand smoke in their homes. She might want to share with us how many such complaints are received and what the real stories are: The paranoia and hysteria of a very few cannot justify going after law-abiding people indulging in a legal activity in their own homes.
It is time to draw the line: Either totally ban tobacco use, or drop the theatrics and half-truths being used in an effort to bully others into complying with utopian views of a "public health" dictatorship.
David Wood, Ottawa