”This is one of the most fantastic social changes we’ve seen in our lifetime,” said Stanley E. Michels, the New York City Councilman who had sponsored anti-smoking legislation since 1982. ”Smoking is now considered anti-social behavior.” Charting the Social Change
In 2008 see
In 1988 both Mayor Koch and Governor Cuomo issued No Smoking Laws. Again, thousands of lives were saved instantly and the laws were proclaimed as the start of big Social Change. The New York Times carried the story “New York No-Smoking Law: Echoing Society’s ‘No More!‘
At the time I had myself a chuckle on that one, one snarky laugh. I vividly recall the moment, I looked down at my scarred hand burned 10 years prior in the battlefields of New York City. One of many psychotic cigarette smokers waiving their lit cigarette back and forth in the street had flung full arm’s length distance their weapon right into my hand. The hand immediately bled, the psycho looked and then walked on, no regrets. The only other scar on that hand is from an A string on my violin that was wound too tight. Boy, what a comparison. One scar for a piece of shit and one for fine art, you choose.
For those of you in New York City who even walk the streets or are not too self absorbed to tell the truth I ask, ” Isn’t it true the streets are filled up like an opium den in China? Isn’t it true you can’t even wait for a bus or walk in a subway tunnel without people lighting up? Isn’t it true that people smoke in your hallways in your apartment building?”
The law prohibiting the above occurrences has been in place since 1988 and again a diminished law in 2002, still both laws say no smoking in public transportation areas, lines, depots, etc. And yet I still hold my letter from last October from the Commissioner of New York City Transportation stating that they were thinking about enforcing the law. Duh, 20 years and still thinking?
“This law is both a reflection of and a stimulus to social change, it is both popular and effective because it is congruent with what society wants.”–Dr. Joseph, 1988 New York City Health Commissioner
Today the same New York City health department stated to me that there are many people suffering from smoking in public areas of multi-dwelling buildings, I am not the only one. That they know its uncomfortable but they have problems more real than that to deal with. That the law really doesn’t state that you can’t smoke in the areas. Keep in mind that representative of the government confessed she was either trying to quit smoke or has quit smoking. Also keep in mind I am not uncomfortable with it, I am dying from it. It is oppressive, substantial and measured in every inch of my apartment. It is a nuisance. This is not a gy-n exam after all, this oppressive smoke is not allowing me to breathe. This is a reputable hospital’s diagnosis, not my own. I received another misinformed letter from higher up in the department stating that they had seen no evidence of the violation. However, the violation is not just observing someone smoke, but when there are no “no smoking” signs posted and when the hall heaters and hall window awnings and hall floors are obviously ash trays. This department should not be surprised when an Article 78 comes flying on their desk in the future. I’ve have over 200 correspondences with them since August 2007 and to date we even have marijuana smoking in the hallways. Their representative said people are allowed to smoke marijuana in their own home. Problem is they are a shareholder with a proprietary lease, they are not a homeowner.
1988 law (and by the way I did write the Commissioner of the New York City Environmental department last year this time and have not yet received an answer).
“Among other places, the law specifically prohibits smoking in the communal areas of any multifamily building larger than 10 units –
whether co-op, condominium or rental. Anything smaller – like a brownstone – was purposely excluded since it was considered more
like a private house, said Lauren D’Onofrio, counsel to the New York City Council’s Health Committee.
In all other sizes of residential buildings smoking is now prohibited in lobbies, laundry rooms, elevators, hallways, stairwells, indoor
swimming pools, health centers and recreational or party rooms. Outdoor pools are excluded, said Steven Schwartz, an assistant
commissioner of environmental field operations, since the law is strictly limited to indoor gathering places.”