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New York county legislator wants to ban smoking — in citizens’ private homes

Many people are up in arms over the proposed legislation

Photo by Nasir Kachroo/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Some lawmakers in Suffolk County, New York, want so badly to stamp out tobacco smoking that they believe private citizens shouldn't be allowed to smoke in their own private residences.

According to a Wednesday WCBS-TV report, those lawmakers are proposing to act on that.

What are the details?

WCBS' Jennifer McLogan reported that while smoking is banned in a vast majority of public spaces, lawmakers are eyeing laws to make apartment buildings, condominiums, and multi-family homes smoke-free, too.

Leglislator Sam Gonzalez is sponsoring a bill that would effectively ban all smoking in such areas.

"It's not going too far," he insisted. "We're heading in that direction anyway. We can't smoke in restaurants. We can't smoke in buildings. We can't smoke inside the theaters. There are parks, there are beaches, that you can't smoke in. We are headed there."

Many citizens reportedly say that such legislation will be impossible to enforce, but Gonzalez refuted that idea.

"When I get the pushback from individuals that say, 'No, you can't stop me from smoking,' I say, 'Why not?'" Gonzalez insisted.

Gonzalez said that if the legislation is passed, offenders could be fined up to $1,000 and face possible prosecution. All reports of smoking inside residences, he added, will be complaint-driven.

The county is set to hold public hearings on the matter later this month.

What else?

Suffolk Legislator Dr. William Spencer said that such legislation would place priority on the non-smokers' health by tamping down their exposure to secondhand smoke.

“Let me be clear, any legislation that there is a vote required that would have an impact on preventing the public or innocent people who have made a choice not to smoke, from being exposed to smoke, I will support that legislation," Spencer said.

In a Wednesday statement, Gonzalez told the New York Post that his intent is simply to protect human life.

"We need to protect the way of life of those individuals that want to live their apartments smoke-free," he explained.

One last thing…
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