Should Smoking Be Banned in Apartments?

When I was a freshman in college, after going out to the bars, you’d come home with cigarette burns on your arms and your cute halter tops smelling of cigarette smoke. Sadly I was more concerned with the smell, but that might have been the amaretto sours talking. Luckily smoking is illegal in most bars and restaurants now. But what about in apartments?

Like this, except less sexy '50s gangster, more cigarette burns on the drapes.

Many apartments are already smoke-free. And, according to a recent article in The New York Times, “Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg introduced legislation that would require most residential buildings to adopt a smoking policy and disclose it to potential residents.” So they wouldn’t necessarily ban smoking in apartments (but they probably would).

Is this a good thing? On the one hand, many buildings are already smoke free. And when people smoke in an apartment, there is a chance that they could accidentally burn the place down. Or at least singe the couch. Plus, as mentioned, the smell of cigarettes does not come out easily, which could be a problem when trying to rent out the building in the future. Although you might risk alienating smokers. Plus I’m sure there’d be all sorts of legal issues to worry about if it were banned.

On the other hand, you’d have a whole niche of renters who would be interested in renting with you. And if the apartments had a porch or a rooftop area, the residents probably wouldn’t smoke in the actual unit, which would get rid of the smell problem. Plus it would be sort of funny to say the building was smokin’, like Jim Carrey said it in The Mask

And when you rent an apartment, it’s sort of yours, even though it’s really not. I mean, you don’t own it, but it’s your home, at least for a little bit. Shouldn’t smokers be able to feel just as comfortable in their homes as non-smokers? It’s a choice to smoke, but so is being a vegan or a nudist or a country music fan—all things that might irritate your neighbors, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be allowed to enjoy it in your own home. Then again, you wouldn’t necessarily risk burning down the building or stinking up the joint if you were a nudist (you probably should avoid cooking all together if you are to avoid spatters…maybe stick to cereal or something).

What’s your take on smoking in rental apartments? Should landlords make it illegal to smoke in apartments, or will that alienate too many renters?

-Jessica Fiur, News Editor

 Photo credit: Crok Photography