The North Shore Towers is banning cigarette smoke in its nearly 1900 units and 110-acre property. It’s the largest private cooperative in the nation to do so.
"We are a prime example of what can happen when people come together and work together," says resident Phyllis Goldstein.
About 72-percent of its shareholders voted to go smoke-free. Goldstein led a 7-week campaign to change the building's bylaws with the help of public health organizations.
NYC Smoke Free of Public Health Solutions in partnership with Northwell Health hosted educational presentations on the dangers of secondhand smoke to North Shore residents.
According to NYC Smoke Free, secondhand smoke in multi-unit buildings cannot be contained in individual apartments. Smoke travels in buildings through vents and elevator shafts. In some cases, up to 65 percent of air is shared between units.
“By creating a smoke free environment, you remove all the toxins in the air that we know cause many chronic diseases,” says Nancy Copperman, Associate Vice President of Public Health and community Partnerships at Northwell Health.
NYC Smoke-Free states smoking is the leading cause of premature, preventable death in New York City.
Aside from the health benefits of smoke-free housing, officials touted the benefit of reduced property damage due to smoking.
Public health officials say they hope other buildings will follow North Shore's lead. To learn more: visit NYCSmokeFree.org