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.