The liberty to smoke at home can be in jeopardy if Victoria has its way with an upcoming law. It may ban people from taking a puff at their homes and balconies.
The Victorian government is seeking new smoking curbs by modifying the concerned property laws covering apartments.
The Issue Paper released by Consumer Affairs Victoria said a review of the Owners Corporation Act 2006 is in the cards and Victoria may follow the footsteps of New South Wales in making owners corporations craft own rules by making smoke drift a nuisance, reports The Age.
According to Quit Victoria, rising housing density and spurt in apartment living has led to more complaints about smokers letting cigar smoke into neighbouring homes and outdoor areas.
The new law will plug the loopholes in the existing provisions wherein the Owners Corporations are hampered from extending smoking ban beyond common areas, including courtyards. It will empower owners’ corporations to ban smoking at home.
Currently, the Victorian Issues paper is seeking feedback on the proposed law. The paper gives an example of drift smoking, wherein a resident is facing difficulty in coping with the cigarette smoke coming and circulating from other people’s homes.
Rob Beck, the general manager of Strata Community Australia welcomed the government’s plan and said it was timely. He noted that more people are seeking help to resolve disputes concerning smoking.
Meanwhile, higher cigarette prices and packaging with cautionary displays are cutting down the number of smokers in Australia.
Surveys by the Institute of Health and Welfare and the Bureau of Statistics attested this and said in the past decade, the number of smoking Australians has fallen to 25 percent.
Health policy specialist Martyn Goddard said tobacco control measures had been responsible for the change. He said restrictions on where people could smoke also made it difficult for heavy smokers from becoming chain smokers, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.