On June 9, Queens Community Board 7 passed a resolution that originated in the CB 7 Health Committee that encouraged owners and landlords of new multifamily housing to create smokefree housing units and to establish a smokefree environment wherever possible. This resolution is not a statement suggesting that people who smoke cannot live in these apartments; rather it is similar to existing restrictions where the indoor air is shared with others and smoking is not acceptable.
I proposed this resolution to the Health Committee after Community Board 2 in Staten Island took a similar step several months ago.
I commend those who supported it, and those who felt it did not go far enough in making the public health statement that every city resident has the right to breathe smokefree air where they reside.
Smokefree multiple housing is the way of the future and is becoming commonplace in other parts of the country. This transition is occurring because of the recognition that nonsmokers are involuntarily exposed to secondhand smoke, a recognized class A carcinogen responsible for nearly 50,000 annual deaths.
I encourage other residents in apartments to tell your landlords, community boards and elected officials you have a right to breathe smokefree air where you reside.