Like Mayor Koch's 1978 pooper scooper law, Mayor Bloomberg's 2003 ban on smoking in bars and restaurants may be his most enduring accomplishment during three terms. He followed it by banning smoking at all city parks. Now Bloomberg wants to extend his push against smoking into people's homes, by making buildings codify their smoking restrictions. According to The Wall Street Journal, the mayor plans on introducing legislation that requires buildings to adopt set policies on where smoking is permitted or prohibited and disclose those rules to prospective tenants and owners. While the legislation does not specifically ban smoking in residential buildings, it is widely expected that requiring condo, co-op, and rental buildings to put their smoking policies down on paper will result in a rise in buildings that ban the health hazardous habit. Today the mayor protested (too much?) that he wasn't trying to ban smoking in people's homes. “We’re not trying to ban anything. I’ve always believed, as you know, that if you want to smoke I think you should have a right to do so. But it kills you.”
Bloomberg's call for legislation comes on the heels of a shift in policy position by the Real Estate Board of NY (REBNY), which proposed guidelines for implementing no-smoking policies for inside co-op and condo apartments. Codification of building policies are expected to cut down on or clarify lawsuits between neighbors who view smoking as a violation of nuisance clauses.
What if one lives in a large private mansion on, say, 79th Street. What is the smoking policy in homes like that? It's really nobody's business, of course.
· Mayor Taking New Step on Smoking [WSJ]
· Bloomberg Wants Buildings to Set Smoking Rules [NYP]
· Momentum Gathers for Smoking Bans. Two Attorneys Tell How To Implement [Habitat]
· Smoking bans gain traction among NYC condominium, co-op boards [TRD]
· Bloomberg: No Plan For Residential Smoking Ban [WSJ]