Our overall mission is to promote a tobacco-free society that benefits the health of all NYC residents. Some of our work at the community level includes partnering with local Community Boards across NYC to heighten awareness of tobacco control issues and support neighborhood based efforts. Recently, Queens Community Board 11 passed a resolution encouraging SFH policies in multi-unit dwellings as well as support for Smoking Disclosure Policies. To help provide a glimpse into the process, we have invited a guest blogger, Susan Cerezo, the Queens Community Board 11 Health Committee Co-Chairperson:
Almost everyone knows or connects to a loved one or to a friend who has dealt with ramifications with cigarette smoking and/or second hand smoke. At the October 6th Community Board (CB) meeting during public participation, Phil Konigsberg, a CB 7 Health Committee member, presented a resolution for Smoke-Free Housing for multifamily dwellings, including coops and condos.On October 19th, our Health Committee met to discuss this issue and passed a similar resolution. However, we expanded the resolution to include all dwellings and added a provision to ask owners to disclose the building’s smoking policy to current and prospective tenants. With restrictions in place, NYC passed laws against public smoking in work areas, restaurants, parks, bars, boardwalks, beaches, recreation centers, swimming pools, and pedestrian plazas; in essence any common area. However, we believe more could be done.
The NYC Coalition for a Smoke Free City provided handouts and guides about learning the benefits of smoke-free housing. Armed with all this information, Eileen Miller, Committee Co-Chair, discussed the benefits of smoke-free housing to the Community Board at the November 3rd Community Board meeting and presented the Draft Resolution. In the end, the Board passed the resolution with only 2 objections.
Thank you Susan and Queens CB 11. We hope for the same success in other communities across NYC! Queens Community Board 11 serves the communities of Auburndale, Bayside, Douglaston, Hollis Hills, Little Neck and Oakland Gardens. Christine L. Haider is Chairperson and Susan Seinfeld is the District Manager.