Starting this month, the Related Companies has made a decision that may irk smokers to the high, smoking heavens, by issuing a ban on smoking in their 40,000 rental units. It's all in the name of healthier living, the company says.
The program, which is expected to roll out gradually over time, is the first of this scale by a national property owner. It's also unusual in the sense that it doesn't just restrict smoking in public (as we've seen in bars, stadiums, and courthouses,) but in a private space.
According to the New York Times
, new tenants will sign a contract agreeing not to smoke anywhere in the building (that includes private terraces and balconies.) Breaking the rules could lead to eviction. Tenants already renting won't have to sign until they renew their lease. But with a turnover rate of 10,000 a year, all apartments could be smoke-free in just a few years.
Related's president Jeffrey I. Brodsky compares smoking in an apartment building, where resources are shared, to "playing (the) tuba at two in the morning and compromising their neighbors' efforts to enjoy their apartments."
Enid Hamelin, a spokeswoman for Lawrence Properties, which manages 65 buildings in New York points out that there are other, less severe options, like air purification systems. "Whether it’s ethnic cooking, candles or incense, we handle it the same way. You try very hard to avoid people getting emotional, try to handle it as Solomon-esque as you can," she said.
But it looks like smokers in Related homes will have to either kick the habit or light up elsewhere--a thought that might really make them feel like having a cigarette.