A majority of New Yorkers want to live in smoke-free apartment buildings, according to a new Quinnipiac poll, but less believe City Hall should outright ban smoking inside people's homes.
New York City voters, by a %59- %39 margin, want to live in a building where smoking is prohibited, according to the poll. 53 percent however, also said they think city government shouldn't pressure building owners into enforcing a ban.
"New York City voters have a love-hate relationship with 'Nanny Government,' said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "They would like their landlord or their condo or coop board to ban indoor smoking, but they don't want City Hall to pressure building owners to take that step."
In April, former smoker Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed legislation that would require building owners, according to The Wall Street Journal, to draw up written policies on where smoking is and isn't permitted (balconies, stoops, lobbies, courtyards, individual apartments, roofs etc...) and show the rules to tenants. Officials predict the measure would increase the number of smoke-free apartment buildings in New York City, according to The Journal.
“It seems to be something that a lot of people want,” Bloomberg-- who recently compared smoking to jumping off a bridge-- said at the time. “It’s not regulating what the rules are in a building, but before you rent an apartment, you would know whether or not other people are smoking.”
But would Bloomberg actually take that extra step and try to ban smoking in apartments?
Last summer, when Bloomberg introduced the ban on smoking in public parks, beaches and pedestrian plazas, he told a caller to his WOR-AM radio show, "the police will not be enforcing this. That's not going to be their job."
"This is going to be enforced by public pressure," he added. In effect, the mayor was saying people wouldn't be penalized.
But as of April 18, 2012, 108 summonses had been issued to people smoking in parks this year, a stark rise from the meager 84 tickets issued from last May through the end of 2011. In the first month of the ban, only one ticket was issued. Tickets can cost a smoker up to $300, a number 6 times greater than previously made public.
Then again, there's nothing quite like waking up on a crisp spring morning to your downstairs neighbor's stale Camels.