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July 2, 2007 - The following is the submission from an Ontario citizen to the Ontario Human Rights Commission who held public meetings on housing discrimination across the province. We commend Ms. Welch for her initiative and her excellent presentation. It gives a very good portrait of what the anti-smoking tendency of intolerance, reserves for smokers in the not so distant future.
June 27, 2007
My name is Ann Welch, I have been a landlord in Kitchener for over 24 years. Presently I rent
out two units. My tenants are the ones that have a more difficult time in finding safe affordable
housing as they are young first time renters.
I know first hand that this is not an easy group. The problem is usually with noise, pets and
smells. Whenever you have a group of diverse people living in close quarters there will be
conflicts but a compassionate, caring landlord should be able to mediate a compromise.
But that isn’t why I am here today. I am here to speak to you as a concerned citizen that a real
and very serious discrimination is being orchestrated towards a very large section of the rental
population based on a life style choice of smoking.
According to the Landlord and Tenant Act, I can not deny a tenant to have a “pet”. Even if I
have a tenant sign a lease with a “no pets” clause, if the pet is not a problem, I really can’t
enforce it. But surprisingly I can deny housing to someone who smokes.
I became involved in the smoking issue when I sent an email to all the MP’s arguing against
establishing a heroic memorial for anti-smoking advocate Heather Crowe.
I stated in my email that I was against a memorial as I felt that it would be disrespectful to all
employees, police, firefighters and soldiers, that knowingly place their own life in danger
Because Ms. Crowe’s statement was actually an allegation of “involuntary manslaughter”, a
criminal offense, I requested that a public inquiry needs to be held with both sides presenting the
evidence to the actual danger of second hand smoke exposure.
The email I received back from Katie Martin, an employee of Calgary Centre MP Lee
Richardson, was shocking to say the least. (Appendix A-1).
Ms Martin referred to me an “addict in denial” and said next time “keep your selfish and
defensive thoughts to yourself.”
Something was terrible wrong, if a MP’s staff member felt that they could address the public in
this manner, so I started to investigate and document everything and what I have come to the
realization that this is not a “war on smoking” it really is a ”war on people who smoke”
The bigotry and intolerance I am now reading and hearing from the anti smoking and tobacco
control groups about “smokers” reminded me of a time not that long ago when narrow minded
people would say that all Jews were cheap, Blacks were lazy and Homosexuals where unclean.
It was disturbing and objectionable then and it’s disturbing and objectionable now to stereotype
a group of people in such a manner.
The latest attack on smokers, suggesting a debate on banning smoking in apartments,, is just
another step towards realizing the anti smokers' goal of making anti-social pariahs out of
If you live in a building where you can smell your neighbour's cigarette smoke, I have to agree
that you are in real danger, but not because of the environmental tobacco smoke but because in
a real fire, the smoke in another apartment may kill you while you sleep from carbon monoxide
poisoning. The real problem is with the building code and substandard construction of these
From the Urban Dictionary: 1. smoker's face - Having a leathery, wrinkled, and discolored
face; usually with a yellowish tint.
Dr. Douglas Model of Eastbourne, England, added this condition to the medical lexicon in 1985
after surveying 116 patients and correctly identifying roughly half of current smokers by their
facial features alone. The distinctive characteristics of smoker's face, which makes people look
far older than their years, were present in 19 (46 percent) current smokers, 3 (8 percent) former
smokers and no nonsmokers, irrespective of age, social class, recent weight fluctuations and
exposure to sunlight.
Smokers should be punished:
More and more I read in the paper articles and letters to the editor that demand that punitive
measures be taken against this group of society
• Edmonton Sun (Sat, February 3, 2007) by MICHELLE MARK. In this article it is suggested
by Dr. Larry Bryan that “Children should be able to sue their parents for exposing them
to harmful second-hand cigarette smoke”. “the message would come across loud and
clear if smokers were held legally responsible for their actions through exposure-related
• Hamilton Spectator (Jun 3, 2006) By Rebecca Dobson, Stoney Creek writes that If you are
under any type of influence and take someone else's life unintentionally, you are
guaranteed jail time. Shouldn't smokers be punished as well?
• In a letter published recently in The Telegram (St. Johns), the Alliance for the Control of
Tobacco (Newfoundland and Labrador) calls smoking around children a clear form of
Employment opportunities are becoming limited starting with the World Health Organization
declaring they will know longer hire “smokers”
• Washington Post By Leonard Glantz Sunday, December 18, 2005; Page B07. The World
Health Organization (WHO), the health branch of the United Nations, has announced that
it will no longer hire smokers. Its spokeswoman said, "As a matter of principle, WHO does
not want to recruit smokers." The "principle," according to the spokeswoman, is: "WHO
tries to encourage people to try and lead a healthy life." By this action WHO has
transformed its war against smoking to a war against smokers. On its new job application,
WHO asks applicants if they are smokers. If the applicant answers "yes," the application
will be discarded.
And it just reinforces the message not to hire “smokers” when the Ontario government makes a
press release stating that “smokers” are not as productive and cost the company more then non
• January 17, 2006 letter to the Toronto Star from Jim Watson Ontario's minister of health
promotion states “it is time to take a serious look at the costs of smoking in Ontario. The
Conference Board of Canada says that it costs $1,995 more to employ a smoker than a
non-smoker. That cost includes increased absenteeism, decreased productivity, higher
life insurance premiums and costs related to maintaining a smoking area.”
Then it becomes very personal with the Stupid.ca commercials. These ads was part of a series paid
for by the Government of Ontario and aired under its youth and anti smoking campaign, stupid.ca and
ran on most stations in Ontario during 2005. When questioned on the messge they were sending they
justified it by stating that it was smoking that was stupid, not the smoker but never was able to
explain how telling people you smell like dog-feces if you smoke isn’t attacking the person.
• The commercial began with dog owners walking their pets away from an area in a park. A
girl then rolled on the ground to cover herself in what was depicted as dog excrement and
then smeared some of the substance on her face. She told viewers not to smoke and
clearly indicated that if they do, they will “smell like dog crap.”
And comments like this could suggest that smokers are unclean.
• Canada Press, Toronto "Most Canadian homes now smoke-free, survey finds" January 12,
2006 "Those who smoke outside can carry the residue inside on their clothing,
transferring it to children, other adults and pets, said Ferrence, director Ontario Tobacco
Research Unit, who advises smokers to wash their hands and change outer clothing
before picking up a baby, for instance."
Smokers are Killers:
The Ontario Medical Association’s position paper “The Duty to Protect” (February 2003) states “ Second-
hand smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, making it an extremely poisonous gas. There is
consensus in the international scientific community that second-hand smoke causes “sudden infant death
What isn’t widely known is these statements of harm are disputed within this organization. The
Executive - OMA Section on Occupational and Environmental Medicine wrote:
• The paper states that "Second-hand smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, making
it an extremely poisonous gas." We agree that second-hand smoke is definitely
hazardous, but just because it contains more than 4,000 chemicals (without
modifications), does not make it an "extremely poisonous gas." To us, this statement
reads like what could be printed in the tabloids, not in a medical journal.
• We are not aware that second-hand smoke is a direct cause of SIDS. The original article
that the paper referred to certainly did not make that conclusion.
Dr. Sidney Siu, MD of London, Ontario wrote:
• As a coroner, I have serious concerns about the validity of one of the "facts" presented in
the OMA position paper on second-hand smoke
• Coroners investigate every SIDS death in Ontario, and none of us, as far as I know, has
ever stated that second-hand smoke is a direct cause of SIDS.
• I have reviewed the original article quoted in your position paper in the Journal of
Pediatrics, and the authors certainly did not make that conclusion.
The last thing we need to do to parents who suffer this tragedy is stigmatize or marginalize them.
The simple truth is that SIDS can, and does, claim any baby, in spite of parents doing
• Heath Canada Mass Media campaign “Heather Crowe” (October 2003) My doctor told me I
had a smoker's tumour...and therefore, uh, I'm dying... I never smoked a day in my
life....And I'm dying of lung cancer from second-hand smoke. SOME TOBACCO
COMPANIES SAY 2ND HAND SMOKE BOTHERS PEOPLE. HEALTH CANADA SAYS IT
These really are serious allegation of harm. Normally there is an inquiry or hearings so that all
the evidence is presented in a fair and open fashion. Why should smokers not receive the same
treatment that is afforded to any other group?
Continued acceptance of this type of discussion against those that smoke could potentially
continue the trend of mistreatment and further marginalize a substantial portion of the adult
One only has to look at the reports of unfair and even dangerous treatment of those that smoke in
Ontario’s long-term care and Psychiatric facilities, their home, to see how far society is prepared
to look the other way if those people smoke.
The Psychiatric Patient Advocate Office stated in their submission regarding the Ontario Smoke-Free
Act, Bill 164C that
• we are aware of many other issues in hospitals across Ontario, including: some patients
being routinely strip-searched by health practitioners looking for cigarettes and lighters
as they have been deemed "contraband"; patients not being allowed to smoke
out-of-doors on hospital grounds, as permitted at most health care facilities in Ontario;
the sale of cigarettes by staff to patients; patients leaving hospital to access cigarettes, at
times with tragic results; cancellation of privileges and visits due to being denied access
to smoking; and patients being placed in restraint or seclusion following denial of or
access to smoking.”
• “From a rights perspective, the use of strip searches to enforce policy is troubling and
may not meet the legal standard that any search be conducted only if there are
"reasonable and probable grounds" for such a search. We know that such a policy, in a
hospital, has the potential to damage the therapeutic relationship between patients and
We are now just starting to hear stories from residences of Long Term Care Facilities of forced
cessation, depression and falls with serious injuries and most distressing of all, the untimely
death of Mr. Patterson from hypothermia.
Although Long Term Care Facilities were granted an exemption so that they could provide
designated smoking rooms,, the cost to meet the new specification were so expensive less then
two dozen homes out of over 600 have built one. This meant that frail elderly people were
forced outside 9 meters from the facility in an Ontario winter.
And now that they where able to enforce their morality on the most venerable of society they are
going after the homes of the rest of the population.
• “There are multi-unit dwellings and also vehicles. So I think we have other places like
hotels and various kinds of residences and retirement homes, and so forth, that are not
covered by legislation that we have to work on.” - Roberta Ferrence, director Ontario
Tobacco Research Unit,
Ontario Tobacco Control Conference - MONDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2006 Schedule
• 9:00 am – 9:15 am Opening Speaker Jim Watson, Minister of Health Promotion
• 9:15 am – 9:30 am Opening Speaker Investing in Social Change Rob Cushman, CEO,
Champlain Health Integration Network
• 12:45 pm – 1:20 pm - Lunch Keynote Getting Closer to Zero: What's Next for Tobacco
Control Advocacy in Ontario - Michael Perley, Director, Ontario Coalition for Action on
• 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm - Strategy - Concurrent Sessions Protection Issues in Private Settings
• 1. Second-hand Smoke as a Breach of the Covenant for Quiet Enjoyment - Jacob Shelley
• 2. Health Canada’s Secondhand Smoke Home and Car Multi-Year Strategy - Lorie Dunbar
• 3. Exposure to Drifting Second-hand Smoke in Multi-Unit Dwellings – 40 min wrkshp -
Pippa Beck / Melodie Tilson
I was so personally offended at the topics of this conference that I help organize an information
picket to expose what is going on behind close doors, funding by our tax dollars.
The debate on smoking is far from being over, in fact, it is only just beginning.
The science used for all this hysteria is based on hypotheses and best guesses. Relative risk and
risk factors are not the same as risk or disease. A risk factor is just a correlation between two
things but THIS correlation has been twisted into lifestyle casusation. "The wearing of skirts is
associated very strongly with the occurrence of breast cancer. It would be absurd, however, to
suggest that if women wore only slacks they would avoid breast cancer."
Risk factors comes from Epidemiology. The same statistical science that brought us " Subjects
reporting consumption of whole milk 3 or more times daily had a 2-fold increase in lung cancer
risk (RR = 2.14)"
• According to the latest report from the Ontario Medical Association (OMA). June 14,
2005 - Air pollution in Ontario will result in almost 5,800 premature deaths this year and
cost the province almost a billion dollars.
Where is the outcry from these groups over this? This is after all the same air that these groups
are concern with when it comes to second hand smoke.
We are told that second hand smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals but when asked what they
are, no one can provide a list. (Coffee contains over 2000)
When I wrote to Health Canada on a statement I found on their web page they replied with:
• “Unfortunately, the reference cited for this statement is not available. The best we can
provide to respond to your request quickly is an example of how such measurements are
made. You may also want to look up published literature on such studies. James Repace
is a good author to look up in the published literature on this topic”
Interesting enough Mr. Repace believes that SHS defines the laws of physics. Winds strong
enough to knock down a building but the smoke would still be there.
• From his website he writes: “that at least 25,000 complete air renewals per hour would
have been necessary to reach the Canadian standard of acceptable risk: 1 death per
100,000 persons exposed to SHS for 40 years. This would require in excess of one
hundred thousand cubic feet per minute per occupant (50,000 litres per second per
occupant), which would need tornado-like levels of air flow to achieve.”
To put things into perspective it should be noted that The Ontario government only requires 30
litres per second per person in a controlled smoking area.
• Also according to Mr. Repace, employees of the restaurant and bar business run a greater
risk by breathing in their client’s cigarette smoke than if they were exposed on a daily
basis to the toxic emissions of thousands of cars in highway rush hour traffic.
When I wrote to Minister of Health Promotion asking for credible studies on the statement
• “Your risk of developing cancer from second-hand smoke is about 100 times greater than
from outdoor cancer-causing pollutants.
They replied with
• “This is attributed to the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
(AAO-HNS). Link is noted below:
The only information this web site has is just the same statement.
Common sense and logic tells me that if the risk to health to non smokers is so great as now
being promoted from exposure to environmental tobacco smoke how does one reconcile that our
parent’s generation, a generation that had a smoke rate of over 70% and smoke anywhere, any
time, could build and protect this great country and produce the largest and healthiest generation
this country has seen?
What an injustice and insult to tell our hard working Seniors and Vets that they were slackers all
their life because they smoked.
What an injustice and insult to tell the people that smoke that they abuse children, kill innocent
hospitality workers and family members, that they are lazy, unclean and stink.
But the greatest injustice of all is to have condemned and keep punishing the smoking
population without a fair trial. Shame on our society for allowing this to get this far with hardly
a whimper from the natural defenders of human rights.
From the report commission by Health Canada in 2001 written by Anne M Lavack Ph.D. Associate
Professor, University of Regina
• Tobacco industry denormalization campaigns usually point out negative traits of the
tobacco industry, such as manipulative or unethical activities in which the tobacco
industry may engage.
• Tobacco industry denormalization campaigns can reduce the social acceptability of
smoking by highlighting the tobacco industry's overt attempts to increase social
acceptability of smoking
• Such a campaign will invite controversy, so it is essential that the public relations aspects
of the campaign be well managed. This may include deflecting criticism by running the
campaign under the auspices of another agency (NGO), or in conjunction with another
agency. The campaign must be attention getting, striking, and unusual in order to attract
consumer and media attention. It is also important that the tobacco industry
denormalization component be part of a multi-pronged comprehensive approach, which
includes quit-lines, school based programs, community-level programs, and other mass
media efforts focusing on second-hand smoke, addiction, prevention, and cessation.
From the April 23, 2004 meeting of Provincial Cancer Prevention and Screening Council
• Direction of attention and focus is important. Denormalization has been an effort to shift
the industry (also known as the "disease vector"), to make the disease vector abnormal
because there is such a strong behavioural component to smoking. There is much less
acceptance of normality of smoking in public than there ever was. The larger objective is
to make the use of tobacco about as acceptable as driving drunk.
The problem with denormalization is cigarettes don’t smoke themselves. People smoke,
therefore they are in the end the ones being denormalized. You can’t state that baby’s are dying
from exposure to tobacco smoke or that you are dying from lung cancer caused by second hand
smoke and then expect the public to point the blame at the manufacturer. It is the person
smoking that will be blamed.
I am not only disgusted, but deeply saddened that these denormalization tactics has now shifted
from the product and those making it, to the people consuming it and this intolerance is being
promoted by all level’s of government.
This venue, at RIM Park, is a prefect example. Because there were a few comments that non
smokers had to pass people smoking at the entrance, instead of setting up a safe inviting place
for people to go to have a cigarette, a great deal of research on this issue has been done at the
University of Guelph, the City of Waterloo decided to pass an outdoor ban that goes beyond the
provincial government's anti-smoking legislation. Non compliance to this by law can result in
the criminal charge of trespassing.
The debate about smoking in multi unit residence is not a grassroots movement. We have
tobacco control groups that receive funding from the provincial and federal government that are
activity promoting this intolerance. They are holding workshops, producing pamphlets and
building web sites to “educating” people that they do not need to show any tolerance towards
those that smoke while at the same time demanding intolerance toward outside smoking.
The Minister of Health, Mr. Smitherman, on the other hand is attempting to put the onus on
market forces to exclude smokers from rented apartments and condos, stating that ‘’lawyers and
politicians aren’t always necessary to bring about social change’’, but yet invites discussion and
debate while at the same time funding the very groups, Tobacco-Free Network, that is now
forcing this issue.
• The network is funded by the Ministry of Health Promotion and supported in-kind by CCS,
HSFO, TLA and the Ontario Campaign for Action on Tobacco (OCAT).
From the pamphlet GETTING STARTED ON A SMOKE-FREE MULTI-UNIT DWELLING
FOR BUILDING MANAGERS / OWNERS produced by this group states:
• It’s not discriminatory to designate a building smoke-free. Therefore, building
management has the right to refuse to rent or sell to someone who won’t adhere to a
voluntary smoke-free policy.
• It’s noteworthy that where smoke-free buildings are marketed, owner-managers have not
encountered resistance to this innovation. Even recalcitrant smokers are unlikely to stay
where they are not welcome, and many smokers are looking for a compelling reason to
The Ottawa Council on Smoking and Health is collecting information on smoke-free
condominium and apartment buildings, and is urging local developers to build Ottawa's first
smoke-free residential building.
From their web site:
• Every landlord and every owner has the right to declare their apartment buildings or
condominium buildings smoke-free. And every tenant has the right to demand a
smoke-free living space in their rental agreement.
The Non Smokers Rights Association/ Smoking and Health Action Foundation has produced a
52 page manual “ When Neighbours Smoke: Exposure to Drifting Second-Hand Smoke in Multi-
Unit Dwellings” - November 2006
• This document is intended to be a resource for people who are exposed to second-hand
smoke (SHS) in their home that is part of a multi-unit dwelling (MUD), building
owners/landlords who want to know their rights regarding restricting smoking on their
property, and for public health staff who respond to complaints about drifting smoke. This
resource provides a thorough analysis of all aspects of the issue, from why second-hand
smoke is a health concern to what you can do about it.
• Additional data indicate that: one third of Canadian households are renters
• A higher proportion of renters have lower socioeconomic status
• Smoking rates are found among those with lower socioeconomic status
Yet in their Questions and Answers for Landlords document they state:
• Increased marketability - a large majority of Canadians (80%) are non-smokers and smokefree
rental properties are increasing in high demand.
• Either way, the best practical route for a building to become smoke-free is for the landlord
to impose smoke-free restrictions on new tenants signing new leases. Existing tenants who
smoke would not legally have to comply with the new rules, and would be free to continue
smoking until they chose to move out. This way, as old tenants who smoke move out and
new tenants move in, the building would gradually become 100% smoke-free. Of course, this
is assuming that any rulings on future drifting SHS cases maintain the status quo. It is
possible that a future ruling could change the way that landlords do business when dealing
with smoking in their properties.
And so it comes to pass
• The Edmonton Journal (Tuesday, June 19, 2007) EDMONTON - The city's largest provider of
subsidized housing for seniors is phasing in a no-smoking policy for all its buildings over
the next 18 months. Tenants living in Greater Edmonton Foundation apartments who smoke
will be grandfathered in, and will be allowed to continue smoking in their own suites as long
as they can do so safely, Susan McCarthy, manager of marketing and administration, said
Monday. However, new tenants moving into a GEF apartment buildings will be subject to the
new policy, and smoking will only be allowed outdoors in designated areas,
Durham Region has published a breakdown on social class relating to smoking
• Smoking was significantly related to educational attainment. The prevalence of smoking was
significantly higher in Durham Region residents that did not graduate from high school
• (37% ) compared to those who graduated from college or university degree (19%).
• Household income is the total income received from all family members. Overall, 31% of
those who had an income of less than $30,000 were current smokers, compared to 24% of
those who had an income between $70,000-$100,000. Smoking rates were significantly higher
in those with the lowest incomes.
If we are to believe what all the experts are saying, then we have to assume that people who
smoke are in the lower social economical class and are more likely to live in rented multi
residential unit. So without protection we will actually be making smoking a choice of the
elite. If you can afford to own a single family residence, you would be able to smoke in your
home. I fear that unscrupulous landlords will seize the opportunity to offer smoking buildings at
premium rental fees, which once again will make smoking a choice of the wealthier, while the
poorer will have no choice.
This isn’t about protection of health, no, the evidence points to a social engineering to force life
style choices and morality on an unprotected group of people.
As little as 100 micrograms of nut protein could cause an allergic reaction in a very sensitive
individual. Even a trace amount left on a door handle could cause anaphylactic shock to occur.
This is a medical condition that causes a severe reaction and can result in death within minutes.
Fragrance sensitive people suffer from debilitating migraines, swollen eyes and can have their
throats close up caused by second hand exposure to colognes, perfumes, shampoos and other scents
in the air.
If this really is an issue about the safety and health protection of tenants then why is the only issue
being promoted that of drifting second hand smoke?
My final questions to you is, what if a certain number of smokers really cannot quit ? Would society
still feel the same way?
Does the answer to this lie in the voluntary or forced ingestion of chemical substances?
I am afraid that if society continues in this direction and the ones best suited to speak out, the media
and the defenders of human rights continue to remain silent or worse agree, people who use this
legal product will soon be denied employment and housing.
Are we really prepared as a society to allow 20% of the population to be ghettoized based only on
innuendo, intolerance and statistical exercises? I hope not.
June 23, 2007 – One of our member’s opinion on the nanny state.
I'm sick...I'm sick......I'm sick.................I'm really sick....................of all the busybodies who think they know better than me!
When are we all going to get together and stop this ridiculous poking into our lifestyles, telling us how to live, what we can eat, whether we "qualify for health care" due to our bad habits?
There is nothing wrong with these busybodies telling us we are wrong and hoping that they can convince us that they are right BUT we have a right to choose (or should I say we used to have that right) and they SHOULD NOT have the right to legislate all sorts of bans and laws to force us to comply.
Democracy, as defined by the dictionary Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) - Cite This Source .......
government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.
a state having such a form of government: The United States and Canada are democracies.
a state of society characterized by formal equality of rights and privileges.
political or social equality; democratic spirit.
the common people of a community as distinguished from any privileged class; the common people with respect to their political power.
read #3 again.....formal equality of rights and privileges.
Canada is mentioned as being a democracy (defined above) therefore if I am to be denied health care because I am obese or because I smoke or eat an egg every day for breakfast who has taken away my formal equality of rights and privileges?
I don't recall a vote in Parliament to change this right.
It is time for us to be allowed to live our lives as we choose and let us face the consequences of that choice (with medical help available to us when we require it, whether we be obese or are smokers or eat eggs every day). I believe food and tobacco is still legal in Canada! But maybe not for long.....
May 5, 2006 – One of our members expresses his opinion on the war on drugs.
The war on drugs costs billions and billions of dollars every year… and it’s all for nothing. As soon as you pick up one dealer or producer, ten more come out of the blue, ready to take their place. I say legalize drugs! That way, streets will be safer cos’ you’d be taking away street gangs and bike gangs their daily bread! Prohibition is never the answer to any problem. It only makes things worse. I wonder if our elected officials will ever get it through their heads.