New York Lawmakers Propose Ban on Smoking Inside Private Homes

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Legislators have introduced a ban on smoking in private homes to prevent second-hand smoke inhalation in Suffolk County, New York.

“Hoping to be the most progressive county in the state, Suffolk County is proposing a law that would snuff out secondhand smoke in apartment complexes, condominiums, and multi-family dwellings,” according to CBS New York.

“Let me be clear, any legislation that there is a vote required that would have an impact on preventing the public or innocent people who have made a choice not to smoke, from being exposed to smoke, I will support that legislation,” said county lawmaker Dr. William Spencer.

The Clean Indoor Air Act (CIAA) which took effect in 1989, already prohibits the smoking of tobacco “in nearly all indoor and certain outdoor public and work places,” according to the state’s Department of Health website.

However, Democrat Samuel Gonzalez, who is sponsoring the bill, said he believed the law’s expansion would not be taking things too far, adding that offenders could be fined up to $1,000 for violating the law.

“We’re heading in that direction anyway. We can’t smoke in restaurants. We can’t smoke in buildings. We can’t smoke inside the theaters. There are parks, there are beaches that you can’t smoke in. We are headed there,” he stated.

Despite the proposed ban, some residents said if people want to smoke inside their homes, that is their business.

“You should have the discretion, obviously, to smoke on your own property,” one person commented.

“It’s impossible to enforce,” another concluded.

Correction: This story incorrectly attributed the introduction of this bill to Republican Tom Cilmi. Cilmi is opposed to Democrat Sam Gonzalez’s bill and has only offered an amendment to limit its scope to “to prohibit smoking on balconies and patios that are near the external air intake vents of a multiple dwelling unit.” The text of this article has been updated to remove the erroneous reporting on Cilmi’s amendment.

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