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Almost everyone living in White Plains believes secondhand smoke is harmful.  In fact, about 80% of residents don't permit smoking in their homes or cars.  But non-smokers living in multifamily housing become secondhand smokers without recourse. 
 
As much as 60% of the air in an apartment may come from other units, including those where smoking is permitted. Air cleaners, air conditioning, and ventilation systems distribute secondhand smoke, but don't remove the carcinogens.
 
According to the Surgeon General, the only way to protect non-smokers is to ban smoking indoors. Apartment by apartment, that's almost impossible.  Building by building, it's legal but very difficult.  The lowest practical level is city by city.
 
In White Plains, smoking is already banned in restaurants and taverns, some hotels, some medical campuses, and in the workplace.  Now it's time to ban smoking in multifamily housing, home to more than a third of White Plains residents.
 
White Plains Smoke Free encourages the Common Council to adopt a smoking ordinance, like that enacted in Belmont, CA, which bans smoking in multi-unit dwellings.

Secondhand Smoke in Multifamily Housing


Secondhand Smoke Reading List

Overview

Smoking & Tobacco Use: Secondhand Smoke Fact Sheets
Brief, clear memos about Exposure, Health Effects and Protection from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Authoritative Opinion

The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General
The full report, summaries, fact sheets, posters, and a database of the facts on which the report was built. Testimonials that accompanied the report are in the video Secondhand Smoke: Triumphs & Tragedies (next column).

Smoking & Tobacco Use

More resources about the Surgeon General's Report from the Centers for Disease Control, including one-page fact sheets, summaries, posters.

American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers position document on Environmental Tobacco Smoke
"At present, the only means of effectively eliminating health risk associated with indoor exposure is to ban smoking activity."

Third-hand smoke

A New Cigarette Hazard: Third-Hand Smoke, Roni Caryn Rabin, New York Times, January 2, 2009
The residue of smoke you smell in carpets, drapes, clothing, etc. is as bad as it smells -- particularly for children.

Landmark Legislation: Multifamily Dwelling

Belmont, CA Smoking Ordinance Updates
Belmont has banned smoking in multifamily housing.  The update page includes links for The Smoking Ordinance, which is extensively documented, an explanatory poster, press releases, and seminar materials.


Legal Precedents

Dealing With Secondhand Tobacco Smoke, Richard Siegler and Eva Tale l, New York Law Journal, September 6, 2006 [PDF: 125kb]
Review of mostly New York case law regarding secondhand smoke, particularly in relation to the obligations of landlords

Poyck v Bryant  The decision held, as a matter of law, that second-hand smoke is a condition that invokes the warranty of habitability, obligating the landlord to provide a safe and habitable environment.

There Is No Constitutional Right to Smoke by the Technical Assistance Legal Center of the Public Health Institute (PDF)

Surveys on Smoking

Hudson Valley 2007 Survey. Telephone poll conducted by POW'R Against Tobacco. (PDF)

New Yorkers Often Exposed to Cigarette Smoke, Study Finds. Roni Caryn Rabin, New York Times, April 8, 2009
"Smoke doesn’t know to stop at a doorway,” said Dr. Winickoff, a professor at Harvard Medical School. “It fills the full capacity of every indoor location in which the cigarette is smoked."

The Elusive 'Smoke-Free" Home, Roni Caryn Rabin, New York Times, December 13, 2010. 
Children living in apartments had higher levels of cotinine, a tobacco metabolite, in their systems than those who lived in detached houses, even though their own units were smoke-free zones.

Secondhand Smoke: Triumphs & Tragedies

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