Piccirillo’s Viewpoint: Proposed Smoking Ban in Multifamily Dwellings is 'Overreach'

HOLBROOK, NY (OnSachem.com / OnTownMedia.com) — The office of Suffolk County Legislator Anthony A. Piccirillo (8th District), a Republican from Holbrook, released a statement arguing against the proposed smoking ban in multifamily dwellings throughout Suffolk County.

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The proposed law is “Resolution No. 1015-2020, A Local Law to Prohibit Smoking within Multiple Dwelling Units.” The full resolution is posted on the county’s website. If approved, the ban would begin Jan. 1, 2021.

Suffolk County Legislator Sam Gonzalez (9th District), a Democrat from Brentwood, introduced the bill.

“Statistics show more than 3,000 non-smokers in New York die each year from heart disease and lung cancer caused by secondhand smoke,” Gonzalez wrote on his Facebook. “We will continue to fight to pass this law that prohibits smoking in multiple dwelling units to protect those who suffer as a result of the smoke that others produce.”

However, Piccirillo said the proposed law is an "overreach" of the county government. The following is Piccirillo’s viewpoint.

The newest member of the Suffolk County Legislature, Anthony A. Piccirillo, has been a vocal opponent to a newly proposed law that he claims “Is a broad overreach of basic government function.” Resolution No. 1015-2020 if adopted will ban smoking within multiple dwelling units. This includes apartments, townhouses, condos, co-ops and other multifamily dwelling units in Suffolk County. The bill does not distinguish between renting and owning a dwelling; forcing people who own their own home to comply with this law if it is passed. Legislator Piccirillo voiced his concerns with this proposed law at the public hearing before the Legislative body at the general meeting on February 11; questioning how the government would enforce this law. Asking “Is there going to be a hotline, will the cops be kicking down doors?” No sufficient enforcement mechanism was provided.

“The Government has no right to infringe on the rights of using a legal substance in the privacy of our own homes,” stated Legislator Piccirillo. This law is looking to regulate the behavior of Suffolk County residents within their own homes, including dwellings residents own. “This is a slippery slope we are heading down,” Piccirillo said. “Regulating legal conduct within a person’s own premises where there is a reasonable and legitimate expectation of privacy is generally frowned upon by the United States Supreme Court,” added Legislator Piccirillo.

This is one of two bills being heard before the Legislature regarding smoking in or near multifamily dwellings. “This bill is radical and over the top,” the youngest member of the Suffolk County Legislature said. “These decisions should be made by the landlord and tenant or by an H.O.A. Board; not by an unfunded government mandate,” added Legislator Piccirillo.

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Legislator Anthony A. Piccirillo who represents suburban middle class residents vows to fight against this bill after an outpour of concern from his constituents. “I’ve received many phone calls, emails and messages over the past few days; and an overwhelming majority of residents stand in opposition to this radical intrusion of government in our private dwellings,” stated Legislator Piccirillo.

The Legislator vows to continue to be a vocal opponent of this law.

For any additional information on this law or Legislator Piccirillo’s stance, please contact 631-854-9611 or Anthony.Piccirillo@suffolkcountyny.gov.

OnSachem Editor's Note:

Piccirillo’s Eighth Legislative District is located almost entirely within the Town of Islip, with a small part located within Brookhaven Town. It includes Bayport, Blue Point, Holbrook, Holtsville, Sayville, West Sayville, Oakdale and parts of Ronkonkoma, Bohemia and Medford.

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