In 2009 the Region of Waterloo, Ontario conducted a survey of all 2,723 tenant households under Waterloo Region Housing. This was the first of its kind in the province. Despite the poor response rate (36%), and the fact that the majority of respondents were seniors, the survey is important as it offers a first glimpse into tenants’ experiences and attitudes regarding second-hand smoke in social housing.
The survey found that:
- Seventy-five percent of all responding households do not permit smoking indoors. This is in line with the national average for all Canadian households;
- Twenty-one percent of respondents smoke, which is only slightly above the national average of 19%;
- Fifty-seven percent of respondents said they have been exposed to second-hand smoke inside their home; and
- A modest majority (57%) wants part of their housing (i.e. a wing, floor or building in a complex) to be smoke-free.