By Michael V. Cusenza
The Forum, February 12, 2015
The push for smoke-free buildings across the city made its way last week to Community Board 10’s general meeting in South Ozone Park.
Eileen Miller, the 3rd vice-chairwoman of Community Board 11, brought a resolution that has been passed at several Queens community boards for members of CB 10 to review.
With the “Smoke-free Multiple Housing Resolution” proponents seek to expand the smoking restrictions already in place in the Big Apple, and protect the health of others by recommending to the owners of new multi-family dwellings that the housing units being developed become smoke-free residences.
Additionally, the resolution encourages owners of rentals, condominiums and co-ops to disclose the building’s smoking policy to current and prospective tenants.
“It’s just a resolution, it’s not a law,” Miller said. “As a community, we want to promote this non-smoking environment. It’s basic respect for our neighbors.”
In a letter city Health Commissioner Mary Travis Bassett, MD, CB 11 asked the agency to “partner with us and other organizations in the city such as the NYC Coalition for a Smoke-free City and promote these policies. We will also encourage the City Council to legislate the Smoking Policy Disclosure Law.”
The resolution contains facts about smoking that drive the principal-that every city resident has the right to breathe smoke-free air where they reside”-home, including tobacco remaining the single largest preventable cause of death and disease in the country, killing more than 480,000 Americans each year, with an estimated 49,000 of these deaths from exposure to second-hand smoke.
Additionally, it states that “secondhand smoke negatively impacts the health of non-smoking individuals, including children, adults and seniors and the disabled communities by causing or exacerbating asthma, upper respiratory infections, ear infections, and sudden death syndrome.”