RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Is one suburban county going too far trying to legislate what residents can and cannot do in the privacy of their own homes?

Hoping to be the most progressive county in the state, Suffolk County is proposing a law that would snuff out secondhand smoke in apartment complexes, condominiums, and multi-family dwellings, CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported Wednesday.

Smoking is already banned in many public places, and near schools and office buildings, but there are no smoke-free laws for apartment buildings, condos, and two-family homes.

“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,” Suffolk Legislator Dr. William Spencer said.

FLASHBACK: Suffolk Lawmakers Approve Smoking Ban In Common Areas At Apartment Complexes

Spencer, who is also a medical doctor, said secondhand smoke can permeate through cracks in walls, electrical lines, plumbing, and ventilation systems.

Statistics show more than 3,000 non-smokers in New York die each year from heart disease and lung cancer caused by secondhand smoke.

There are two proposed laws to reduce secondhand smoke in Suffolk County.

Legislator Sam Gonzalez is sponsoring the bill banning all smoking in apartments, condos, and multi-family homes.

When asked if the proposed legislation is going to far, Gonzalez said, “It’s not going too far. 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.”

The proposed legislation has Suffolk residents buzzing.

“It’s impossible to enforce,” one person said.

“If they want to smoke in their apartment, I think it’s totally fine,” another person said.

“You should have the discretion, obviously, to smoke on your own property,” another added.

There has already been push-back, with many wondering if an apartment dweller could actually get kicked out, all in the name of good health.

“When I get the push-back from individuals that say, ‘No, you can’t stop me from smoking,’ I say ‘Why not?'” Gonzalez said.

The lawmaker added offenders could be fined up to $1,000 or even arrested, and that enforcement will be complaint driven.

Public hearings later this month are expected to be heated. Legislators said they expect amendments and modifications before the Health Committee considers the proposal.

Comments (86)
  1. William Wallace says:

    If government agents come for the peoples cigarettes the armed citizens need to smake their asses.

  2. theshawn says:

    Orwell would approve of their claiming to be “progressive” while they practice govt fascism….

    1. d0ct0rj says:

      The correct term would of course be “regressive”…

  3. only a civil war will take care of the tyranny.

  4. Pico says:

    Where you live/sleep indoors, is the only place you should be allowed to smoke. Not outside or in the woods or anywhere else!

    1. Morleo Brandetti says:

      Your car belches more pollutants in 30 minutes than I can exhale in a lifetime. If you put 100 smokers in a sealed room for 12 hours, they’re going to wreak of tobacco. Put a running automobile in with them… And they’re all dead in 30 minutes. Who the hell are you to judge. What makes YOU so damned special.

      Maybe you’re special because you have an electric COAL BURNING car.

  5. TheMadKing59 says:

    This is Michael Bloomberg on steroids. So what next? No drinking or eating junk food in your own home because of the health risks associated with both? God save us from government people who only want to save us from ourselves.

    1. chefjimmie1 says:

      They’re killing the entire planet with their geoengineering, spraying toxic metals into the stratosphere (and only God knows what else they spray) and a sector of local gov’t wants to impose its ideas and ludicrous laws and controls on those being killed by the spray. Look into this. Or, just look up on a sunny day and watch as these tankers blanket the sky with their “contrails” which linger and spread out into a haze blocking the sun’s rays (which is one of their intentions for controlling the climate “change”) This is weather warfare. The metals are then used to heat up the ionosphere, controlling the high and low pressure systems wherever they choose.

  6. HughG says:

    Great..Let’s ban what people can do in their own bedroom in private. I think this standard will allow us to ban gay sex also.

  7. cleo48 says:

    I have never seen a state more hell-bent to drive citizens out.

  8. James Repace says:

    I have had a secondhand smoke consulting service since 2008, and currently have had over 80 nonsmoking clients in 14 states, DC, and Quebec. These clients have suffered from secondhand smoke intrusion in their apartments from neighbors’ smoking. They have variously suffered from asthma aggravation, breathing impairment, coughing, eye irriation, malodors, throat irritation, headache, nausea, fatigue, dizziness, nasal irritation, respiratory infections, congestion, lung irritation, cardiac problems, choking, and allergy to secondhand smoke, and some have been hospitalized, with many consulting physicians. Most regarded their apartments as uninhabitable. I fully support the Suffolk County proposal. The only other area of the country to do this is the San Francisco Bay area, where more than 20 cities have already done this. There is much unmet demand for smoke-free multiunit housing. 28 million residents in the U.S. have reported complaints to the CDC.

    1. TheMadKing59 says:

      Fine. Then establish condo associations or apartment complexes whom advertise smoke-free as an attraction. Smoking is still a legal activity in the United States, yet people like you are intent on making it criminal one way or another. Try moving to Russia. They’re open to fascist ideologues.

    2. Tex Brown says:

      But it is okay to take a dump on the sidewalk in San Francisco.

  9. george says:

    100% of non-smokers die.

  10. dahlf says:

    When it is ever right for government to dictate what lawful activities outside our home cannot be also done within the privacy of our own home? That is Communism.

  11. David Scuncio says:

    2 words FU**** You TRUMP 2020

    1. DanR says:

      When you read this stuff doesn’t it make you feel like hurting these people?

      1. Shanny says:

        Nice try, fed.

  12. Scott Ewing says:

    I have been a landlord for 24 years. As the anti-smoking movement began to get traction, I had to make a decision as to whether alienate 25% of my potential tenants or continuing to allow smoking. I have since spent over 2000 hours investigating whether the claims of the anti-smokers had any merit. They do not. In fact, anti-smoking is the biggest boondoggle since prohibition and perhaps of all time. Even using the anti-smoking cabal’s own statistics, 80,000 people would have to work 40 years in an
    unventilated, ‘Mad Men’ type environment to add one extra death. This is a statistical hiccup. Not anything that a rational person would get upset about. As for the real world, having met with over 350 prospective tenants, exactly one has declined to rent from me because I allow smoking in my buildings. Anti-smokers are out there, no doubt. But they aren’t nearly as numerous as you’ve been led to believe.

  13. Smokefree says:

    A smokefree apartment policy is long overdue. This proposal in Suffolk County is commonplace in numerous other venues throughout the United States. Two easily recognized cities where smokefree multiple housing is the law is Beverly Hills, CA and Calabasas, CA (the city where a tragic helicopter crash occurred that took the lives of Kobe Bryant and several others). This fundamental health policy of preventing non-smokers from being exposed to the carcinogens contained in secondhand smoke has finally entered the consciousness of society, and specifically many legislators who are becoming cognizant that when someone smokes in an apartment building, 65% of their neighbors involuntarily are breathing in the circulating secondhand smoke air in that building as well. Thanks to HUD, all public housing authority multiple dwellings throughout the United States became smokefree in 2018. Why are we all not provided the fundamental right to live in our apartment without having to be involuntarily exposed to carcinogens?

    1. Scott Ewing says:

      so are you a paid shill or simply a ‘useful idiot?’ All the ‘evidence’ against smoking itself is statistical legerdemain. Cause/effect has never been proven. As for airborne smoke, when the long-ago discredited, but still oft-quoted EPA report came out, it showed a risk of 1.19 for spouses of smokers that had been together 30 years plus nonsmoking workers after a working lifetime of work exposure to smoking conditions back in the 1940s through 80s. Even if it had been done legitimately, this works out to a lifetime risk of 1 extra case of nonsmokers lung cancer in 80,000 worker-years. This is a statistical hiccup. Not anything for an intelligent person to get up in arms about. The ‘no safe level’ lie came about because after OSHA did actual testing, the 15 or so compounds that were of concern and detectable at all were so diffuse that there was no need to establish one. Based on OSHA’s data, the limit would be 62 packs per hour in their 20′ x 20′ x 9′ sealed testing room. Not something that could happen in the real world.

      1. Dale Davis says:

        Judging from your two comments, it seems that you are a smoker, and have no idea the discomfort non-smokers suffer due to other people’s disgusting smoke.

        1. steve jarvis says:

          Dale, Perhaps you should read someone’s comment before responding. Here is a copy and paste of Scott’s first comment.
          “I have been a landlord for 24 years. As the anti-smoking movement began to get traction, I had to make a decision as to whether alienate 25% of my potential tenants or continuing to allow smoking. I have since spent over 2000 hours investigating whether the claims of the anti-smokers had any merit. They do not. In fact, anti-smoking is the biggest boondoggle since prohibition and perhaps of all time. Even using the anti-smoking cabal’s own statistics, 80,000 people would have to work 40 years in an
          unventilated, ‘Mad Men’ type environment to add one extra death.”

          So as you can see he has done some research unlike the rest of most of the people. He is also a Landlord which gives him the creds to speak in this arena.
          When I grew up ( I/m 60 now) everyone smoked. In every home they smoked. In every building, restaurant etc. And you know what? I did not know one person with asthma or an allergy to anything. Maybe pollen (Spring fever we called it ) So you tell me how after 55 years of dropping levels of the population smoking and more bans why all these kids are getting sicker? Scott is right, second hand smoke is a crock of you know what.

        2. Morleo Brandetti says:

          But driving your carcinogen belching car is not a problem.

    2. David Coker says:

      Someone should take your little Commie ass outside and put it up against a wall.

  14. Audrey Silk says:

    My organization has been screaming that this will be the next step after they test it on public housing residents who saw HUD ban smoking inside their apartments over a year ago. I understand many have no sympathy for public housing residents but that misses the point — that the anti-smokers KNOW that and warmed the frog in the pot using them first for that very reason. That no one would protest, the idea of coming into homes would be planted, then making it easier to come into privately owned buildings and homes. Meanwhile, we have sued HUD over its ban (court ruling is pending). We did not argue anyone has a right to smoke. We argued (among several other constitutional questions) that people have a right to engage in legal activities in the privacy of their home free from govt. intrusion. That is a constitutional question for EVERYone’s sake, not just smokers. Suffolk should wait to hear how the court rules before taking another step.

    Founder, Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment (C.L.A.S.H.)

    1. Smokefree says:

      Ms. Silk has no concern for those who desire to live in a multiple dwelling (for multiple reasons) without having to breath in secondhand smoke from others who choose to do so in their apartment. This is a fundamental health issue that has taken years for society and specifically legislators to recognize. It is not a constitutional issue. Smoking has long been recognized as not a constitutional issue.

      1. steve jarvis says:

        Smoke free, then find a place that is smoke free you moron. It’s like if you don’t like the TV show change the channel. So just because you have a bug up your U know what about smoking, suppose the other 7 residents want to smoke. They are supposed to give up their right for you? There are plenty of places that advertise “SMOKE FREE” find one you schmuck!

        1. Oracle says:

          That’s too easy. We live in an “entitlement” society these days. People actually believe it’s their right to expect others to do whatever it takes to make them comfortable, even if it would be a huge concession on the others’ part. It doesn’t matter to these “entitled” individuals – “it’s all about me”, which also explains the popularity of “selfies”. “Look at me – ain’t I cool?”

  15. luismartinez1953 says:


  16. Warrior of GOD says:

    These people are control freaks….They have to have it their way……They are idiots…………..

  17. whooosh says:

    Never pass a llaw you can’t enforce. How are the cops going to come in and check for smoking? They can’t enter without a search warrant. Will the cops be able to get a judge to sign off on a search warrant? Not if the judge feels the law is unconstitutional.

  18. Dave says:

    As much as I hate smoking, this is absurd. I may suggest one thing and that is if the home has children under the age of 18, because I was exposed to this in the 80s. But isn’t it true we don’t want the government in our bedrooms (aka gay marriage which is what many on the left wanted and many on the right have grown to say it doesn’t affect our lives, so what. But now we want government in our homes? I don’t like it but I understand the desire to respect children. Just like there’s child safety car seat laws. I’m not sure this is the way though… I think responsible parents don’t do that to their children!!

  19. John says:

    I can guarantee you that they will exempt marijuana smoke once it becomes legal in NY.

  20. stemarhan says:

    What’s the problem? Bloomberg wanted to outlaw all sodas over 16 ounces. Compared to him this almost sounds reasonable.

  21. timothy couto says:

    keep up the great work NY, dont worry that you tax them to death and now you lose all those precious dollars.
    nope, you believe in fuzzy math where 2 and 2 can be 5. why is your state population dropping year after year? never mind, just tell yourself its rising and rising.

    1. DanR says:

      Are you suggesting that these left wingers are all living in fantasyland? They are realists, aren’t they? Do they just imagine things and then believe them to be the truth? If they do then they would be nuts and stupid. Is that possible?

  22. rdlynch says:

    Government ownership of the citizenry is so cool, hip, and trendy! People as property! What could possibly go wrong?

    1. DanR says:

      Many of us learned and trendy left wingers have for some time wanted to bring back slavery. Over time after it was outlawed we discovered that we needed slaves to serve us, flush the toilet for us and wipe our rear ends while they are at it. We deserve that treatment because we are the elite, the ruling class, the turd in the tank, etc. Reinstate slavery and forget about smoking. We smoke wherever we want to. We rule. We are it and always will be. Just ask Bernie and he will tell you.

  23. Ken Schuhmann Jr. says:

    A blind man could have seen this coming when they were allowed to ban smoking in privately owned bars and restaurants !

    1. Se1ene says:

      And when they banned it in outdoor venues like parks, for Gawdsakes. I have never smoked, but my grandfather smoked like a chimney his whole life. He lived to be 85 and I never even had a stray cough, nor did any of my several siblings. This is total crap statistics, and if they can do this, why don’t we all have to wear gas masks to board a public bus????

  24. pappadave says:

    Suffolk County can kiss my a$$.

  25. Tim Holt says:

    The mental disease of liberalism on display once again.

  26. Tom D. says:

    And let’s bring back prohibition too. Remember how well that worked?

  27. Really?? says:

    What happens to all these ban smoking rules when pot is eventually legalized?
    Does anyone really believe folks won’t lite up in their homes?

  28. Rational Thinker says:

    I’m not understanding how smoke travels through plumbing. Every drain has a P trap to keep out sewer gases.

    1. garyandersonsonly1998fgmiss says:

      Oh I can tell you as an upstairs condo dweller that my bathroom vanity stinks like marijuana 365 days a year! These buildings share a common return air source also, as every time my heat or AC comes on, the forced air reeks of marijuana. I agree with this County whole heartedly. There is no reason why I should have to smell smoke or marijuana if I do not want to. What about MY rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Want to smoke, buy a detached home! Multiple dwelling unit buildings, ban it!

      1. Nonsmoker says:

        Don’t want to smell your neighbor’s smoke? Buy a single family home

      2. Steve says:

        How about I take a dump and stick in your air return so you can smell that instead of my cigarette? Would that make you happy?

    2. garyandersonsonly1998fgmiss says:

      Oh, and I have never heard of cooked fish referred to as “chronic!”

  29. Tom Ferlito says:

    But, Cuomo is counting on me buying weed to support the State. If I can’t smoke it in my own apartment, or on the street, in a park, in my car, in public, to help with it. I’ll do so much hard drugs I won’t care I can’t smoke cigs or weed.

  30. Robert Blum says:

    The government controls everything . . . N E X T . . . Tax the air that the people breath

  31. Samuel Green says:

    They need to call it what this is, and that’s an outright ban on smoking. If one cannot smoke in public, nor inside their homes, where pray tell do they go? Outer space?

    Not a smoker, but this progressive county’s legislatures, are FULLY stuck on stupid.

  32. Ida Tarbell says:

    No, I’m sorry. This is just an interim step. Suffolk intends to outlaw smoking outdoors inside the city as well. And I’m on their side. Every time I step outside I’m assaulted by waves of tobacco smell.

    1. Samuel Green says:

      I defended my nation and risked my life so that Americans freedoms and liberties are enjoyed by all, if someone is outside smoking and you don’t like it, move.

      …..Either to the north pole or a seminar that explains what America’s freedoms & liberties are all about.

    1. steve jarvis says:

      Joanne, Wow that is the greatest link ever. Shows what a crock it is.

  33. John Dough says:

    More over reach? People are leaving NY state in droves, but good luck anyway finding tenants.

  34. EEMan 1 says:

    “When I get push-back from individuals who say, ‘No, you can’t stop me from smoking,’ I say ‘Why not?’” Gonzalez said.

    Why stop there? Hey while you’re at it, ban the consumption of sugary drinks, fatty foods, and driving your car anywhere but work? Why the DPRK takes it even further requiring citizens to cut their hair short so as to not waste energy grow long hair.

    Why not just ban everything you don’t like and has the slightest risk possibility. That will make the society even better! Whenever thinks and acts as you do, well you’ve solved the problem of people wanting liberty. Hey, I have an idea. If you could develop a device that can read minds and report illegal thoughts to the thought police, you could make the people even more like robots. When does this foolishness stop?

  35. NATHAN HALE says:



  36. Hoser says:

    The regulators lie using statistics. They assume zero threshold, which is unrealistic. The “3000 deaths” are a fiction of bad math used deliberately to grab more power.

  37. WVR Spence says:

    “Why not?” Because it’s their own property?

  38. larperharper says:

    Fake news headline. To 99% of people in 99% of conversations in 99% of contexts, “private homes” means a single family house. This proposed bill addresses a legitimate concern over second hand smoke in complexes. Even without second hand smoke per se, the stench of cigarettes does permeate nearby. So like it or not, this will be taken seriously.

    1. garyandersonsonly1998fgmiss says:

      Exactly! Smoke all you want in single family homes but, multiple unit dwellings are banned. Imagine a tenement building in an urban city who’s residents were told they can’t smoke marijuana! All 50 stories! The same people who misunderstood the article also legitimately think legalization means you are free to light up while driving and waiting in line at an event.

  39. liberals. They would have us all wearing gray jumpsuits and praising big brother.

  40. Phil Aylward says:

    Liberal Fascists

  41. Is anyone remotely surprised this is coming from New York? How are they still even a state at this point?

  42. rodz8 says:

    Let me be clear?

  43. Wm Layer says:

    You can’t smoke in your home, but buggery is OK?

  44. SCOTT MICKELSENSkoots says:

    Good luck enforcing this law. Won’t this law discriminate against POC and the poor?

  45. scribeofsolomon0522 says:


  46. Phx Engr says:

    Commie Ba$tards

  47. Stu Gatz says:

    How would this be enforced? Place cameras in all homes? Morons.

    1. John says:

      Well Yes! Didn’t you see 1984? nanny B is looking out for you.

  48. Jane says:

    The real question is, is “the proposed legislation going to farm”?

    Editors. You need them.

    1. Gregory says:

      Jane, I’m so glad someone else agrees with me. Substance aside, does no one proofread or care about grammar in writing anymore? “…smoke can permeate through cracks in wall’s”? Why the apostrophe? “…the proposed legislation is going to farm…” What does “going to farm” mean? Perhaps, “going too far” as is suggested by the next sentence? C’mon folks, your publication should be accurate enough to show you can be trusted as a legitimate news source.

      1. Se1ene says:

        Don’t forget the part where they put “to far” and “too far” in the same damn sentence…. Gawd what illiteracy.

  49. Capt Mack says:

    More unending Bloomberg socialism nonsense

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