The Health Nazi’s Are In My Home

The First Essential Scary Truth

A few years back it was hip to smoke a cigar on the streets of New York.  It wasn’t unusual to see a man with his stogie lit outside a Midtown or Downtown building, walking winding his way to the subway, a cab or a steakhouse for some red wine, a Ribeye and some fun and screams with the boys on the old expense account.  I loved to light up a Cuban in the early winter chill and walk over to the East River and watch the barges hug the Brooklyn side as the twilight crept over (what we can barely call) water these days.

These days, such indulgences are frowned up in the Big Apple.  First came the Bloomberg Bar/Restaurant Smoking Ban of 2003.  Earlier this year came the ban on smoking in Times Square, Public Parks and Public beaches.  The latest NYC Smoking Ban “is designed to curb exposure to second hand smoke as well as reduce litter.”

Now comes the New York City ban on smoking in your home.

(From the New York Post)

For many New Yorkers, owning a 1,000-square-foot one-bedroom condo in a posh Upper East Side doorman building is a dream come true.

But they don’t live next door to Jane’s chain-smoking next-door neighbor from hell, whose incessant nicotine habit has ensured that her own pad constantly smells like eau de Joe Camel.

“I feel like I’m living in a college dorm, and I just want to live like an adult,” says Jane, a 50-year-old journalist who didn’t want her real name published for professional reasons.

“Right now, all of my outlets are taped up and my windows are sealed.”

Still, her apartment reeks of stale smoke that seeps through the shared wall, which happens to bump up against Jane’s bedroom.

She purchased the condo 15 years ago, but the trouble began in 2008, when the human chimney rented the unit next door and began puffing on cigarettes, pot and something that “smelled like plastic.”

Despite repeated complaints, Jane says her condo board has refused to broach the subject of banning smoking, even after a fire in February — sparked by a different tenant’s smoking habit — gutted one apartment and did extensive water damage to numerous floors.

“They’ve banned smoking in parks, but I can’t have a smoke-free bedroom,” Jane says.

Just over eight years ago, the city made the controversial decision to ban smoking in restaurants and bars, acting under Mayor Bloomberg, who has anointed himself the Eliot P. Ness of cigarettes.

In May, it became illegal to smoke on city beaches and in parks.

Now, residential buildings are becoming the next frontier in the battle of the butts.

“Smoking in residential buildings is the hottest, newest issue now,” says real estate attorney Adam Leitman Bailey, who since January has lined up five clients complaining about smoking in their buildings.

His firm represents more than 200 co-ops, and many of them are dealing with this problem.

A legal turning point on the issue came in 2006, when a New York City judge ruled that a shareholder in a co-op has the right to live free of smoke, and the board is responsible to enforce the rights of victims (in these cases, second-hand smoke complainants).

“It was the first time that it was put in writing — that a court would enforce the right to be smoke-free and people were able to say, ‘I don’t want to smoke anymore or get cancer,’ ” says Leitman Bailey.

Mother of G-d it’s official.  New York City has been snatched from the rest of the Republic and is being deprived of its freedom’s by the tyranny of the Health Nazi’s, imported from the People’s Republic of Berkley.

May the Great Magnet help us all.









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