Marijuana, Vaping Mix-Up Delays Smoke-Free Apartment Resolution…


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QUEENS, NY — Some Queens leaders were left high and dry this week when the wording of a non-smoking policy failed to explicitly mention marijuana smoke and vaping, further delaying a vote on the resolution.

Queens’ Community Board chairpeople were set to vote Monday on an advisory resolution to eliminate smoking in multi-unit housing units, but the vote reached a stalemate when one leader pointed out that the resolution only referenced tobacco and tobacco products.

“In the first sentence it clearly just says tobacco. It doesn’t talk about any other items being smoked,” said Dolores Orr, Chairperson of Community Board 14, adding that she’d like for the resolution to also include non-medical marijuana smoking and vaping.

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Eileen Miller, a member of the Bayside Smokefree Housing Alliance championing the resolution, contended that marijuana is a tobacco product — a point that was hotly contested by a couple of board members.

“It’s totally different; tobacco does not get into vaping, it does not get into marijuana,” said Frank Taylor, Chairperson of Community Board 3. “If you’re going to put forth a resolution the resolution has to be correctly worded,” he added.

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The board made a nearly unanimous decision to push off voting on the long-awaited resolution until next month, but devoted an additional 15 minutes to debating the proposed policy Monday.

Some opponents, like in past meetings, raised concerns over how the non-binding resolution would impact co-ops (which, despite being multi-unit housing, operate like private homes) or people who smoke.

Others objected to the focus on secondhand smoke in apartment buildings, noting that other smells permeate multi-unit buildings, too.

“If we’re going to worry about tobacco products then what about all the other people who are cooking in the building and all the curry and the garlic and all the other stuff that comes up through the building?” asked Gene Kelty, Chairperson of Community Board 7. “We don’t seem to worry about that, but some people don’t like curry and stuff and some people don’t like garlic and we have them seeping through the building.”

The resolution’s supporters, though, focused on the health dangers of secondhand smoke — dancers which they said cannot be compared to other aspects of apartment living.

“There’s been no studies that say that curry is going to cause lung cancer or other sicknesses,” said Morry Galonoy, Chairperson of Community Board 2, referencing . “We’re talking about the health of your neighbors. They should not be victims of somebody else’s choice.”

The resolution, which neighbors in Bayside have been pushing for since 2018, will head to a vote on June 6.

Related Articles:

  • Smoke-Free Apartment Resolution Heads To A Vote Monday
  • Group Wants Smoking Ban In Every Bayside Apartment

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