New York City residents who are still smokers are an unloved bunch in the Big Apple. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has made it his mission to ban cigarettes from public places, including restaurants, bars, parks, beaches, and even Times Square. And if hizzoner has his way, apartments will be his next smoke-free target.
To be clear, the rule introduced to the City Council doesn't ban smoking in residential buildings; it would simply require that housing have written rules.
According to the Wall Street Journal, "Bloomberg is proposing new legislation that would require residential buildings to develop written policies that address whether smoking is permitted in both indoor and outdoor locations, including lobbies, balconies, courtyards, laundry rooms and, most controversially, individual apartments. The goal is to alert prospective tenants and owners considering moving into a building about the rules governing smoking."
Of course, New Yorkers know the bigger worry from fellow smoking residents isn't second-hand smoke — it's a fire in the building.
Bloomberg gave his assurance in a press conference that he has no intention of an outright ban, saying, "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."
The mayor certainly puts his money where his beliefs are. He has spent $600 million of his own fortune to end smoking around the globe.