Encourage Smoke-Free Housing

To The Editor:

On Monday, June 9, Queens Community Board 7 passed a resolution that originated in the CB 7 Health Committee that encouraged owners and landlords of new multi-family housing to create smokefree housing units and to establish a smokefree environment in the developments wherever possible. This resolution is not a statement suggesting that people who smoke cannot live in these new apartments, rather similar to other existing restrictions where the indoor air is shared with others, smoking is not acceptable in those premises.

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 that supported the resolution at the full board meeting and to those who felt the resolution 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 non-smokers are involuntary exposed to secondhand smoke, a recognized Class A carcinogen that is responsible for nearly 50,000 annual deaths.

I encourage other residents living in New York City apartments to speak to their landlords, local community boards and elected officials and let them know that you have a right to breathe smokefree air where you reside.

Phil Konigsberg,
Bay Terrace