Letter: Smoking Coquitlam neighbours have made my quarantine unbearable

The Editor,

I realized too late that I had moved into a building where smoking is permitted — even inside the suites. 

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I did not think that it would be legal even in 2019, as I had never experienced such a torment before. 

I feel so upset, trapped, frustrated by not being able to open a window to cool down or breathe fresh air. 

I doubt, sadly, that I am alone in this. No doubt there are many tenants like me out there stuck at home and powerless to make the necessary changes. 

I realize that in these stressful, community virus days, coping mechanisms like smoking are treasured companions.

But these individual's coping strategies do heighten stress for others.

Why in a time when we know that even second hand smoke is a known carcinogen is this allowed? I am not opposed to individual freedoms, except when they impinge on the health and safety of others. Their smoke does not stay within their apartment's boundaries. I am being forced to live with their habits in my home.

I was led to believe that smoking was only permitted outside, and when I spoke to my downstairs neighbours when I moved in, they assured me they didn't smoke cigarettes much, (the smoke is coarse and incessant) What they smoked was cannabis.

Are there no other options? Why should the only apparent choice in 2020 be that I would have to move at great inconvenience and incur expense? Are there truly no other choices here? 

I did not ever think I'd have to ask for the freedom to open a window, to breathe clean air, have a window open at night when I sleep, enjoy my balcony. 

I am a tenant, not an owner, but does that mean I am not entitled to enjoy my home?

Shannon Levesque, Coquitlam

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