Cancer Council tips more apartment smoking bans coming....

The Cancer Council of South Australia says a ban on smoking inside Australian apartments is "entirely possible and even probable".

Earlier this month an eight-unit apartment block in western Sydney introduced a by-law making the premises, including balconies, completely smoke-free.

Sydney, Australia - apartments stub out smoking..

xpectation is growing that there be no smoke in shared places," she said.

"Councils have discussed [banning smoking at] various events like Christmas pageants.

"The State Government has announced plans to protect playgrounds, and Cancer Council SA wants to see hospitality in South Australia smoke-free as a priority.

"It's entirely possible and even probable that people sharing apartment blocks will want those to be smoke-free too here in Australia."

Professor Wilson says the demand for smoke-free areas is sparked by increased awareness of the risks of second-hand smoke.

2006 Surgeon General's Report—The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke.

"[The] fact remains that second-hand smoke is harmful. The level of exposure can determine a person's risk and you could imagine many would like to have the choice that their home be a safe haven - something that poses quite a challenge in a shared setting such as apartment blocks," she said.

But Tim Vine, the director of Civil Liberties Australia, says tobacco is legal and people should be entitled to use it in the privacy of their homes.

"They shouldn't be excluded from a community because they engage in a legal activity," he said.

"While I understand people wouldn't want second-hand smoke coming through their apartment buildings... people will just have to learn to live alongside each other.

"We shouldn't be turning to the law to settle disputes between neighbours."

Cameron Murphy, the head of the New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties, fears a ban on smoking in units could trigger a broader crackdown.

"It's perfectly alright to ban smoking where it affects another person's enjoyment of their lot but it's got to be something that is more than a mere annoyance," he said.

"Can the body corporate really dictate what people are entitled to do inside their lot? If it's found that they can, what's next?

"It's a slippery slope. If an owners corporation doesn't like people cooking because it doesn't like the smell of cooking wafting from apartment to apartment, will they ban it? "Drinking coffee, what you do in the bedroom... will they ban that?"

Reference: Cancer Council tips more apartment smoking bans by Monique Ross, ABC News, 4/8/2011