J.G. from Middlesex County writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
My son has cancer and can’t stand the smell of cigarettes, but the tenant below me smokes under my deck and the smoke comes in my unit. I have asked them to smoke away from the units they say no what should I do?
Mister Condo replies:
J.G., I am sorry for your son’s cancer and your careless neighbor’s behavior. The battle over secondhand smoke at condominiums, apartments and other areas where people live closely together has raged on for many years. I had a similar questions asked last year and dispensed the same advice I will be giving you. You can read the previous question and answer at https://askmistercondo.com/how-to-stop-secondhand-condo-smoke/.
In a nutshell, there are two steps you should take. You can petition the Board to make smoking not allowed on the property. This is generally quite difficult because the folks who smoke will certainly fight the measure. However, in Connecticut, the law may be on your side. There are specific steps you and your Board can take to ban smoking the right way. The CT Department of Public Health has published an excellent guide to help you along. Point your browser to their website at http://www.ct.gov/dph/cwp/view.asp?A=3137&Q=486714 and follow their simple steps. Of course, owners that are smokers are likely to oppose the action so don’t expect a simple passage of the new rule. There will be debate, likely heated, about what can be done in the privacy of one’s own home. However, with perseverance, I believe you can create a smoke-free environment for all residents. Good luck!