in Co-op/Condo Buyers on June 2, 2014
The smoke-free transformation started with just one man. “I was interested in going smoke-free,” says Melvin Doby, the board president.
Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s campaigns against smoking have had a drastic impact on how co-ops and condos view this issue. Recent city health department statistics show that 85% of New Yorkers polled don’t smoke, and now those people are trying to keep their homes smoke-free as well.
For Doby’s co-op, the transition has been surprisingly smooth. The board connected with the New York City Coalition for a Smoke-Free City, who guided the process. “They bring photographs and projectors and show you the inside of a black lung,” says Hankin. “They show you what first-hand smoke, second-hand smoke, and third-hand smoke look like, and they basically educate your shareholders, and then they make the vote.”
At Hilltop Village No.1, the proponents of the ban made persuasive arguments. The occasionally grisly data was delivered to the shareholders through several meetings and handouts over four months. In the end, despite some token “slippery slope” opposition from some residents, the measure was overwhelmingly passed.
Adapted from "Breathe Clean" by Tom Soter (Habitat, June 2014)
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