Oh, cigarette smokers, is there no place left for you in this city? Cancer sticks have been kicked out of restaurants, bars and parks, and now more private residences are getting into the anti-tobacco mix: a Union Square condo building has just banned smoking in all of its units and public areas, making it the biggest residential development in the country to do so.
Homeowners at Zeckendorf Towers, a massive 647-unit development that was built at 1 Irving Place in the 1980s, voted for the ban on April 30th, with nearly 84 percent of voters supporting the measure. "It feels great to know that I can sit in my living room and sleep in my bedroom with clean air again," Andrea York, who lives in the building, said in a statement. "Just like smokers have the right to smoke, non-smokers have the right to not inhale their smoke." And the building's board hopes the move will inspire other private residences to follow suit. "Zeckendorf Towers has always been at the forefront of real estate innovation in New York City, and we're proud to be leading the way once again on another step forward that will improve the quality of life for our neighbors and our community," board member Pete Ellis said. "We hope that our example will inspire other buildings throughout the city to go smoke-free and improve the health of our city."
The ban affects all residences and public spaces in the complex, including the building's green roof, though current smoker homeowners don't have to bend to the ban for three more years thanks to a grandfather clause. Naturally, not all the building residents are so happy about the ban. “I didn’t want it,” Santa Sgarlato, who voted against the measure, told the Daily News. “I didn’t want them telling me what to do in my own apartment, and I’m not even a smoker.” But Zeckendorf Towers isn't the first residence to ban smoking, and with more and more New Yorkers looking to live in a smoke-free (but never smog-free!) city, it probably won't be the last.