Friday, April 20, 2018
News Roundup

Q&A: Condo smoker, Columbus and tobacco

The smoker below

What can I do about a smoker in a condo below me who smokes on her patio and pollutes the air on my balcony and in my bedroom? What are my rights?

For help with this question we turned to Richard White, a licensed community association manager in Florida whose column appears monthly in the Times. He writes:

"The answer is not a simple statement or solution. What I have suggested in the past is that the owner of the unit above or below the smoker write letters to the board and the smoker. If the smoker is a renter, then the letter should be addressed to the apartment owner as well.

"The question is, what power does the board of directors have to enforce a no-smoking ban on the patio/balcony? In truth, the board has limited powers to stop the smoking. Then the best answer is to convince the smoker of the problem and ask him or her to take steps not to allow secondhand smoking.

"As an owner who is affected, you have limited powers to keep them from smoking on their balcony. Legally, you might get a doctor's order that you are allergic to the smoke and then take the matter to court to have a judge enforce a no-smoking zone. Yes, this is expensive and really does not obtain the objective without harsh feelings. I do not recommend this action unless you cannot correct the problem with letters and you do have serious health problems with secondhand smoke.

"Many times a smoker will not realize that his or her smoke is affecting other homeowners. Communicating in writing many times will correct the problem. I've also seen older buildings that have exhaust fans that need cleaning and or repair that may help the problem. The problem with this is it does become an expense for the condominium."

Columbus' cigar

I read somewhere that Christopher Columbus was the first European to have smoked a cigar. What is the story of smoking? When did it become a worldwide habit? Did the Native Americans smoke tobacco in their peace pipes?

Native Americans reportedly smoked tobacco for medicinal and ceremonial purposes before Columbus arrived in 1492. Columbus took some tobacco and seeds back to Europe, but it was another half-century before tobacco use became popular for many throughout Europe.

The first commercial tobacco crop in the new world was cultivated in 1612 by John Rolfe. At first tobacco was mostly used for pipes, chewing and snuff. By the early 1800s cigars became popular, and cigarettes followed after the Civil War.

The World Health Organization estimates more than 1 billion people smoke worldwide, with 80 percent of them from low- and middle-income countries. The consumption of tobacco products continues to grow, despite the health risks.

Comments
Rowdies prepared to press on without defender David Najem

Rowdies prepared to press on without defender David Najem

SAINT PETERSBURG — When describing the loss of defender David Najem, Rowdies head coach Stuart Campbell and the player who will replace Najem chose the same word.Gutted.That settled over the Rowdies last weekend, one that was bad enough based o...
Updated: 5 minutes ago
Authorities say motive in deputy killings may never be known

Authorities say motive in deputy killings may never be known

TRENTON — Investigators in Florida say they may never know why a man - a recluse from a rural farm community who rarely ventured into town - killed two sheriff’s deputies while they sat in a Chinese restaurant. John Hubert Highnote, 58, of Bell casua...
Updated: 18 minutes ago
Shaquem Griffin is about to join a long line of NFL draft picks from Lakewood

Shaquem Griffin is about to join a long line of NFL draft picks from Lakewood

ST. PETERSBURG — Former Lakewood High coach Brian Bruch started each season with the same spiel. He cautioned his players about not becoming obsessed with a professional football career, reciting statistics to emphasize the difficult the odds o...
Updated: 21 minutes ago
Producer and DJ Avicii has been found dead

Producer and DJ Avicii has been found dead

Avicii, the Grammy-nominated electronic dance DJ who performed sold-out concerts for feverish fans around the world and also had massive success on U.S. pop radio, died Friday. He was 28. Publicist Diana Baron said in a statement that the Swedish per...
Updated: 27 minutes ago
Tampa Bay students voice opinions on gun laws during school walkouts today

Tampa Bay students voice opinions on gun laws during school walkouts today

High school students from around the Tampa Bay area are participating in the National School Walkout today commemorating the shootings at Columbine High School in 1999 and calling for gun law reform.A large group of students from St. Petersburg High ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bucs’ Jameis Winston, Mike Evans catch Miami Heat game from courtside

Bucs’ Jameis Winston, Mike Evans catch Miami Heat game from courtside

We've seen Jameis Winston and Mike Evans bonding this offseason, going to Texas A&M pro day together, among other events. The two Bucs stars and their significant others double-dated Thursday night, getting courtside seats to watch the Miami Heat in ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Man gets life sentence in Freedom High student’s 2015 shooting death

Man gets life sentence in Freedom High student’s 2015 shooting death

TAMPA — After David Brunson murdered an 18-year-old Freedom High School senior, he told a witness the victim was "just some ghetto kid nobody will miss."But people do miss Eion Gustitis.More than two years after Gustitis was shot in the head in a rem...
Updated: 2 hours ago
One injured, suspect in custody in Ocala school shooting

One injured, suspect in custody in Ocala school shooting

OCALA — One student shot another in the ankle at a Florida high school and the suspected shooter is in custody, authorities said Friday.The Marion County Sheriff’s Office reported that the shooting happened Friday morning at Forest High School, which...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Flight attendants say ‘appalling’ Southwest flight photo confirms it — you’re not paying attention to the safety demo

Flight attendants say ‘appalling’ Southwest flight photo confirms it — you’re not paying attention to the safety demo

Mario Nunez called it a "huge shaking my head moment" when the photo inside the cabin of Southwest Airlines flight 1380 appeared on his TV.The story was about a terrifying emergency landing after an engine exploded 20 minutes into a trip from New Yor...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Owners say new house is a disaster; developer accuses them of 'online terrorism'

Owners say new house is a disaster; developer accuses them of 'online terrorism'

ST. PETERSBURG --- Stretched across the front of Tim and Hyun Kims’ two-year-old house is a big banner with the name of a developer and the words: "I have to fix my new house." Some of what needs fixing is instantly apparent. The front steps ...
Updated: 2 hours ago