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Shop a smoking neighbour and pocket 560 euros

STOCKHOLM, Jan 13, 2011 – Ratting on neighbours who light up on the sly can be lucrative in Sweden, where a landlords\’ association said Thursday it would offer a hefty reward for shopping people who violate a strict smoking ban in a residential building.

"I have decided to offer a reward of 5,000 kronor (560 euros, 740 dollars) to our tenants for helping us discover which people are smoking" in buildings where it is banned, said Hans Selling, the head of communal landlords Mitthem in Sundsvall, some 400 kilometres (250 miles) north of Stockholm.

"This is not about looking for informants," Selling insisted to AFP.

"After receiving the information, it is up to us to determine if the person in question is actually smoking. An anonymous tip-off here and there is not enough to get the reward," he said.

The initiative concerns a building in Sundsvall where residents in all 121 apartments are required to adhere to a strict smoking ban, entailing aplying "in the apartments, on the balconies or anywhere," Selling explained.

He brushed aside criticism of the move, insisting that the end justifies the means.

"It is extremely serious that people who have signed up for a non-smoking residence decide to light up, while it is the people suffering from asthma who have expressly chosen this residence who are forced to move," he said.

Anyone found to be smoking in the building will be evicted, he added.

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