Fox News posted an article in late June (I missed it. Sorry) about New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio‘s plan to end smoking in apartments. That’s right, if you are renting an apartment in New York City, you would not be allowed to smoke in your apartment.
The article reports:
The mayor’s administration is planning to pay four health-advocacy groups $9,000 apiece to press landlords and developers to prohibit lighting up in their apartment complexes so neighboring tenants don’t breathe in secondhand smoke, according to the New York Post. The city has already banned smoking in bars and restaurants, workplaces, sports venues and parks, but has not moved against smokers who practice their habit in the privacy of their own homes.
City health officials emphasized the initiative is voluntary — at least for now.
“Everyone benefits from smoke-free housing. Residents enjoy breathing cleaner, healthier air in their homes . . . while owners see reductions in property damage and turnover costs,” a Health Department spokesman said.
Dozens of buildings containing hundreds of apartments have already kicked the habit, according to the Health Department. The de Blasio administration is actually accelerating an initiative started at the tail end of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s tenure.
I need to make a few things clear here. I am a non-smoker–I never smoked. I grew up in a blue haze in a house with two heavy smokers (both of whom died as a result of smoking-related illnesses). I really hate the smell of cigarettes and love the fact that I no longer have to smell cigarette smoke in restaurants. However, smokers have rights, too. If someone wants to smoke in the privacy of their own apartment, it bothers me that a law could be passed that would make that a crime. I thought Republicans were the people always being accused of wanting to make laws about what people did behind closed doors.
I agree with the idea that if a landlord wants to make his apartments smoke-free, he should be allowed to do so. Hotels have smoke-free rooms. The rooms stay cleaner, and it cuts down on the fire hazard of someone falling asleep while smoking. However, this should be the choice of the individual landlord–not the city government.
Meanwhile, many states are moving to legalize marijuana as they limit the rights of tobacco smokers. It just doesn’t make any sense.