Smoking Ban Coming to NYC Apartments?

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The New York City smoking ban is spreading steadily, like the scent from your inconsiderate roommate who sucks on those disgusting cancer sticks even though you told her 12 times it screws with your asthma. Smoking in bars and restaurants, at least the ones that let in your unfashionable friend, is basically the stuff of long-ago legends at this point, with parks and beaches set to be smoke-free come summer. Now, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that at least six Manhattan co-ops "are expected to ask shareholders during annual meetings this spring to vote on an all-out smoking ban that would prohibit residents from lighting up in their own homes," with about a dozen more condo buildings or co-ops considering the very same measures.

In something of a twist, considering this is New York City, which some kids still wish was hard, "Younger residents who grew up in smoke-free public environments tend to be more anti-smoking than older residents." Might we suggest a little pow-wow where younger people switch their American Spirits for a drag of grandpa's Reds, creating a unified and varied front for the smokers?

"It's the one topic, aside from bedbugs, that all co-op boards are talking about," said a real estate attorney. (The rent, for the record, is still too damn high.)

Strict co-op rules, not to mention a small sample size of places even trying, mean there's not too much to fear yet, for the nicotine fiends. But never underestimate the will of parents with toddlers:

A couple who live at 200 Chambers Street are suing a neighbor for up to $25,000, plus fees and damages, saying their neighbor's smoke enters their apartment. Christian and Britt Ewen allege that the smoke caused health problems for them and their three-year-old daughter, according to the complaint.

The case was tossed out by a civil court, but don't think the Parent Army isn't mobilizing. The solution? Stay in shitty buildings -- it'll take decades to trickle down to those, and by then, your vice will have probably killed you.

Smoking Bans Hitting Home [WSJ via Animal NY]



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10 comments
JAMELLEJ
JAMELLEJ

I WANT TO SMACK THEEE SHIT OUTTA MY NEIGHBORS FOR SMOKING LTHIS IS BULLLLLLSHIT ........

Victoria Kennedy
Victoria Kennedy

To the author: I am the attorney who represented the Ewens in the civil court (I unfortunately did not represent them on appeal), and your summary is factually incorrect; the case was not "tossed out" by the civil court as one commenter correctly noted.  The defendants' motion to dismiss was denied by the civil court which ruled that the Ewens successfully stated causes of action in nuisance and negligence. What those criticizing the case fail to understand is that the Ewens attempted to resolve the matter without litigation for over a year, including spending substantial sums of their own money to install filters, etc. in their own condominium unit. The problem could only be resolved if certain filters were installed in the neighbor's unit, but he refused to take any remedial steps so thus necessitating legal action. Although the case was overturned on appeal, the decision was rendered by the appellate term--not the appellate division--and thus is not binding law.       

Smallydad
Smallydad

It's just staggering what people are prepared to get upset about.  OK, second hand smoke is unappealing, stinky...but what about food preparation smells for that matter? 

Bernie Hitler
Bernie Hitler

Ever heard of smoke extractors?

Curtain Sniffers.

Glowgirl28
Glowgirl28

The smokers I've encountered get belligerent and overreactive when the mere mention of having an issue with secondhand smoke is broached.  This is a serious problem and it's time that the co-ops considered the health consequences to those who are subjected to noxious secondhand smoke through no fault of their own.  Basically, if you had someone emitting car exhaust through the vents in your home for hours at a time, 365 days a year, wouldn't you be concerned?  Who wouldn't?  The chemical composition of car exhaust and secondhand smoke are remarkably similar except for the fact that secondhand smoke contains nitrosamine-based carcinogenic compounds while car exhaust does not.  Secondhand smoke has been irrefutably linked to cancer, folks!  And in children who are exposed, you're looking at chronic ear infections, respiratory illness and a higher incidence of psychological disorders.  Just read the latest medical journals on this subject.  It's a common law nuisance and a form of trespass.  I hope the Ewen family succeeds. 

Involuntary Secondhand Smoker
Involuntary Secondhand Smoker

According to the WSJ story, it was the smoker's motion to have his neighbors' $25,000 suit dismissed that was tossed out by the court. Get your facts straight, Mr. Coscarelli!

As a long-time condo owner whose chainsmoking South American neighbor fills his apartment with smoke every time she comes up to go shopping (she's even taped over her smoke detector, because it kept going off), I say go, Ewens! Good luck with your suit!

Lp0920
Lp0920

Its amazing that with all that is going on in the world, this legal activity has become a priority. This issue is not a priority!

Julia
Julia

I am a reporter, doing a segment about this smoking ban in apartemnts and what residents think about it. Interested in talking with both smokers and non-smokers. Want to share?

Calsweet
Calsweet

My neighbor smokes a cigar in the doorway of our building and I am on the ground floor. I wake up to a cigar smoke filled apartment and have asthma. Finally talked to him last night and he said he would move further down from the doorway. Cigars should be banned to being smoked outside.

Calsweet
Calsweet

I meant cigars should not be allowed to be smoked outside.

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