New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is continuing former Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s crusade against cigarettes by taking aim at smoker’s last safe haven: their homes.
The mayor’s administration is planning to pay health-advocacy groups $9,000 apiece to pressure landlords and developers into banning smoking in their apartment complexes, according to the New York Post.
City health officials say the goal is to dramatically increase the number of “tobacco-free” apartment buildings in a bid to snuff out smoking in the Big Apple. Administration officials emphasized the program would be voluntary — for now.
De Blasio’s administration tried to portray the policy as a win-win for apartment complexes and landlords in its newly released economic blueprint for the city.
“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.
Judging by the free market, however, not everyone agrees. With private living quarters as one of the last sanctuaries for New York city smokers, landlords routinely avoid bans in an effort to attract potential residents.
New York City already has some of the nation’s most stringent anti-smoking laws, with the habit being banned in bars, restaurants, workplaces, sports venues, outdoor parks, and city property.
Despite the government assault on cigarettes, the percentage of New Yorkers taking up the habit has actually increased over the past several years, according to a report released by the city health department last year.
De Blasio apparently believes that an expansion of Bloomberg’s big-government “solutions” will reverse that trend.
New York smokers better light ’em up while they still can.