Butting in: NYC mayor wants to stop smoking in private homes

Reuters/Eduardo Munoz
New Yorkers may soon be unable to smoke in their own homes, as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is pressing landlords and developers to prohibit residents from lighting up inside apartments.

This comes as part of the de Blasio administration’s efforts to reduce smoking citywide. It recently released a “sustainability blueprint” that outlined the initiative, which involves paying four health advocacy groups $9,000 each to get apartment complexes to ban smoking, reported the New York Post.

READ MORE: Hawaii on tobacco road to becoming first state to ban smoking for under-21s

City health officials emphasized that the initiative is voluntary, but the same blueprint, titled “One New York: The Plan for a Strong and Just City,” also said that de Blasio is moving towards legislation that would require apartment buildings to create a smoking policy and “disclose it to residents and prospective residents.”

“Everyone benefits from smoke-free housing. Residents enjoy breathing cleaner, healthier air in their homes ... while owners see reductions in property damage and turnover costs,” a Health Department spokesman said to the Post.

The Big Apple has already banned smoking in parks and all commercial establishments, a program initiated by former NYC mayor and billionaire Michael Bloomberg. De Blasio seems determined to pick up where his predecessor left off, but regulation concerning smoking in private homes is a new frontier.

De Blasio’s efforts are a part of anti-smoking policies that are gaining ground across the country. California’s Democrat-controlled Senate recently voted to raise the minimum smoking age to 21, and New Orleans passed smoking bans earlier this year that included prohibiting residents from smoking at drive-thrus.