A published letter to the editor, in response to this article: Tenants fume over invasive second-hand smoke, by Tara Carman

Thank you for this article. As an asthmatic who was forced to move  six times because of smoking neighbours, I never thought I was  lucky. But unlike Ms. Borutski, I at least had the option of escape, even if I had to repeat it a few times.

Although I am currently happy in a smoke-free place, it should not  have taken me repeated nightmare moves to find it. Having to fight  for an obvious necessity such as smoke-free housing is like having  to fight to ban cholera lollipop sales in schools.

Grandfathering sounds fair in theory. In reality it protects only  smokers who already have housing, at the expense of everyone else.  Landlords are saddled with a devalued property that is available  only to people who neither smoke nor mind breathing other people’s  smoke in their own homes.

A recent New York law requires multi-unit housing providers to state  and enforce their smoking policies. There will undoubtedly be some  initial reshuffling. However, unlike what smokers’ neighbours  currently face, these one-time moves will result in smokers finding  places where they won’t bother anyone and everyone else finally  finding a place where they can stay in safety and comfort.

Sera Kirk

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