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The Ban On Smoking In Public Housing Is Fascist and Un-American

Photo: NYCHA

The federal government announced that it will institute a ban on smoking in all public housing next year for so-called health reasons, but it’s really because they can. According to the New York Times, the initiative will take effect next year and could affect up to 400,000 NYC residents who live in the projects:

Health officials said that a significant amount of smoke could be transferred between apartments and that alternatives, such as improving ventilation, did not eliminate the ills of secondhand smoke, including causing or aggravating conditions like asthma and lung cancer.

First of all, the government doesn’t give a shit about poor people or their kids. If it did, it would do something about the mold. It would pass way more stringent environmental regulations on industry. Inner city residents, on average, have more respiratory issues than any other demographic group and it’s primarily because of pollution from incinerators, factories, power plants, and vehicle exhaust, because of second hand cigarette smoke, although that certainly doesn’t help either. All across New York City, impoverished neighborhoods are coughing more than their wealthier, urban dwelling counterparts.

The latest proposed ban is just another example of a nanny-state trying to dictate the habits of the less fortunate. Want a sandwich, but are paying with food stamps? Sure, but it can’t be hot. Looking to collect welfare? Sure, but you may have to take a drug test. This restriction on smoking is yet another control along those same lines.

Don’t get me wrong, the people who light up in the hallways are assholes and so smoking should be banned in all common areas—that’s a no brainer. Parents who puff with kids at home suck too, but again, they are consuming a legal product that’s readily available on every street corner. Get them an air filter. Let’s also not forgot that these residents DO pay rent. Would you someone telling you what you can and can’t do in your own home?

FWIW, large scale smoking bans in urban areas are not a new phenomenon. You’ll never guess who first proposed them?

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