Smoking Ban Comes Home

In 10 days, the new ban on smoking in parks and public plazas will take effect. With rare exception, vast swaths of the city will become off-limits to nicotine lovers. At least you can smoke at home, right?

Back in February, it looked like smoking in your apartment might become harder, too. And now it has spread to the closest thing New Yorkers come to a white-picket home, the condominium. According to The Times, the Ariel West tower, which opened a few years ago, overwhelmingly voted to ban butts in its units.

“Even though people bought into this building thinking they could smoke,” said Gideon Stein, the president of the condo board at Ariel West, “people do not have a constitutional right to smoke.”

That said, the three-year-old building is not about to become a police state. Enforcement will be complaint-driven, and no one will be knocking on doors or sniffing out smokers. Smoking could, however, quickly become an extremely expensive habit, since the first complaint will draw a $150 fine, and the fine for each succeeding complaint will increase by $150.

And you thought the cigarette taxes were harsh.

mchaban [at] | @mc_nyo Smoking Ban Comes Home