Hundreds of Queens residents no longer have to suffer the risks of secondhand smoke in their own homes, now that a 300-unit building in the Hilltop Village Co-op complex has banned lighting up indoors.
The move by Co-op #4 follows that of Co-op #1, which has 200 units. That means roughly 1,000 people in Hollis Hills will now live without secondhand smoke, the Queens Smoke-Free Partnership said.
“I’m pleased to take a stand and provide a tobacco-free environment for the residents of Hilltop Village Co-op #4,” Marc Haken, chairman of its Board of Directors, said in a prepared statement. “By joining Co-op #1 in this smoke-free effort, we are helping to create a healthier community and improve the quality of life for our neighbors.”
Yvette Buckner, borough manager for the Queens Smoke-Free Partnership, part of a citywide coalition, applauded the move and said she hopes it will inspire other multifamily buildings to go smoke-free. There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke, according to the U.S. surgeon general, and smoke-free buildings are also cheaper to maintain due to the cost of cleanup when a smoker moves out, the partnership says.