Mayor Bloomberg held a press conference to announce and further clarify new proposed legislation that would require residential buildings to adopt written policies on whether smoking is permitted or prohibited. “This does not prohibit anything,” Bloomberg said. “It just gives people the right to know before they sign a lease, and it seems to be very popular.” He insisted that he wasn't trying to outlaw smoking, but he couldn't help putting it in a certain context: “If you really intellectually start thinking about it, we protect people from hurting themselves, if they're trying to jump off a bridge we restrain them,” Bloomberg said. “Should you really do it with smoking? We’re not going to do it with smoking, but we—this is purely an informational thing.”

The penalty for violating the proposed law would call for $100 fines. Bloomberg, a former smoker himself, said the focus was on getting rid of secondhand smoke: “What is clear is that because of air circulation in buildings if you smoke in one apartment other people in the building do get some of that smoke in their air,” Bloomberg said.

Some apartment buildings already restrict smoking—Steven Spinola, president of the Real Estate Board of New York, told the Times many the real estate industry was largely in favor of the bill, but there was still a lot to be clarified: “If somebody in management says to the person, ‘You’re not allowed to smoke here,’ and the person ignores it, what do you do?” Spinola wondered. “What is the role of the management of the building, or the owner or co-op board or condo association?”

"Our job is to inform people and then let them make decisions based on the risks that they want to take and the way they want to live their lives," Bloomberg said. "And we shouldn’t be telling you how to do that." Hmm, that sounds like advice a certain nanny mayor we know could probably take under advisement.