Those who reside on Long Island are probably well aware of the fact that Suffolk County is trying to position itself as a bastion of progressiveness. In fact, the county will not rest until they are considered to be the most progressive county in the entire state. Since this is the state of New York that we are talking about, there is no shortage of competition for that title.
County legislators are now taking that ambition one step too far. It is one thing to prohibit people from making decisions that are actively harmful to others. It is quite another to make a decision that is designed to punish people who are not actually hurting anyone. That’s the progressive agenda for you, though.
While smoking in public locations has already been forbidden in most instances, Suffolk County is now looking to ban smoking….in your own home! This begs the question: where is a smoker actually supposed to be able to light up? Even if you are not a smoker yourself, you can probably see the issues that would be caused in these instances.
This sounds very intrusive from where we are sitting. The author of the proposed bill, on the other hand? They are very pleased with themselves. Apartment buildings, condos and multiple family homes would be affected. Those who reside in these locations would not be allowed to smoke in their home because of the supposed fear of secondhand smoke.
Single-family homes would still be safe in the meantime. We are sure that the legislators would be taking aim at these locations before too long, though. Once you are not allowing people to smoke in their own homes, who knows where it stops? We hate the phrase “slippery slope” but in this instance? It applies.
Many landlords are already banning smoking inside of their rental units and it is their prerogative to do so. The government does not need to step in and control anyone’s life. If a landlord wants to preserve their property and avoid the long term expenses that are associated with renting to in-home smokers, this is a decision that they should be allowed to make.
A landlord that does not worry about such things should not have to worry about the government intervening and telling them what to do. There are certain issues with trying to police a dwelling that has multiple families residing in it as well. For example, what if the person who is smoking inside of their own home has already paid for the house?
The government should not make the mistake of assuming that everyone who resides in one of these homes is a renter. Dr. William Spencer is the man responsible for the bill and he believes that secondhand smoke will make its way outside of the dwelling and endanger others.
He cites cracks in walls and electrical lines as the impetus for the bill. Quite frankly, these are larger problems that need to be addressed by the owner of the dwelling. No one should assume that every dwelling with multiple occupants is experiencing these types of issues. It punishes those who care about upkeep and assumes that everyone is allowing their properties to fall into a state of disrepair.
Is one suburban county going too far trying to legislate what residents can and cannot do in the privacy of their own homes?
Hoping to be the most progressive county in the state, Suffolk County is proposing a law that would snuff out secondhand smoke in apartment complexes, condominiums, and multi-family dwellings.
Smoking is already banned in many public places, and near schools and office buildings, but there are no smoke-free laws for apartment buildings, condos and two-family homes.
The county legislator should not be trusted to fix these sorts of problems. Instead, they are better left to a trusted electrician or plumber. These are the people who need to taking care of the dwellings so that secondhand smoke does not have the chance to seep out and bother other tenants. If the cracks start to become too problematic, this is probably a sign that the home needs to be condemned.
Row homes would not need to be policed in this manner, either. In most instances, they come with their own air conditioning and heating units to minimize the effects on other tenants. An apartment building could theoretically benefit and we suppose that a condominium could as well. Is that sufficient evidence to support a ban that is this far-reaching? We highly doubt it.
If the government believes that cigarette smoke is so harmful, why aren’t they doing more to eliminate it from our everyday lives? We know the real answer here and it is a sad one. If they actually decided to outlaw cigarettes entirely, they would no longer be able to rake all of that sweet, sweet tax money. Tobacco is too dangerous to be consumed in one’s home but too dangerous for the government to profit off of…..message received.