The smoke-free apartment resolution is headed for a vote on Monday
BAYSIDE, QUEENS — Smoking indoors may soon be a thing of the past for apartment dwellers in Queens.
The Queens Borough Board, which is made up of all members of the Borough Council and the Chairmen of Queens Community Councils, vote monday on a long-standing resolution that ultimately aims to eliminate smoking in apartment buildings and multi-unit buildings in the borough.
As proposed, the resolution, which would be advisory and non-binding even if approved by council, would call on private landlords to switch their homes to smoke-free policies.
Supporters of the resolution, many of them Bayside-based, have been trying to ban smoking in interior apartments for years – with varying results.
In 2018, a group of neighbors founded the Bayside Smokefree Housing Alliance, which has would have helped most community councils in Queens pass similar resolutions for their neighborhoods. Two of the band members, Phil Konigsberg and Eileen Miller, will be at Monday’s meeting.
As a council member, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards supported efforts to make NYCHA smoke-free; a policy that finally came to fruition in 2018 under a federal government resolution.
Enforcement, however, has proven more difficult at NYCHA, Richards acknowledged at a February conference. discussion on the smoke-free motion for a resolution.
And, even in neighborhoods where similar resolutions have been passed, not all neighbors are happy.
Vincent Arcuri, president of Community Board 5 (which past a smoke-free resolution in 2016) for example, said the resolution facing the Queens Borough Board poses a problem for co-ops.
“Each of these is considered a private home,” Arcuri said, according to the Chronicle of the Queens. “And the government shouldn’t be telling us what we can or can’t do in our private home. The next thing is the backlash if this thing goes to court.”
Arcuri, however, said he supports enforcing smoke-free policies in city housing and encourages building owners to do the same.
The resolution will be put to a vote at a public meeting of Queens Borough Council, which begins at 5.30pm on Monday May 9. Get more details on how to watch here.