City Pushes for Smoke-Free Residential
Al Barbarino Sept. 23, 2013, 1:52 p.m.
The Partnership for a Healthier NYC is hoping that the city’s residential owners will follow Related Companies’ lead set earlier this year and ban smoking in their buildings.
The New York Post spoke to the group’s director, Earl Brown, who said the partnership’s contractors have conversations with tenants, owners and managers about the harmful effects of smoking.
A majority vote gives landlords the go-ahead to exercise their legal right to ban smoking, which would be written into new leases as they come due.
Democratic mayoral nominee Bill de Blasio is among those on board:
“When it comes to public health, the mayor has been a real leader, and if elected, [Bill] de Blasio would build on his work to improve the health of all New Yorkers,” a de Blasio spokesman told the Post.
Smokers-rights advocates were anything but:
“This is about educating the public about a discriminatory act, with the lie that it’s possible that someone smoking in their own apartment can cause harm to somebody in another apartment,” said Audrey Silk of the group Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment, calling the program “a hate campaign, not a health campaign.”
Following the completion of a pilot program launched in 2009, Related Companies announced in June that it was banning smoking across more than 40,000 rental residences it owns and manages.
As would be the case for any new buildings that make a similar ban, new tenants – and those whose leases expire – will have to sign a contract promising not to smoke anywhere in the building, or they would face eviction.