Man to pay fine for smoking cigar in his own apartment: Why?

NY man must pay $2,000 fine every time he smokes a cigar in his apartment
That's $2,000 up in smoke
AP

(CBS) - Have the health police gone too far this time? Ask Harry Lysons. The 70-year-old New Yorker has to pay his neighbors $2,000 every time he smokes a cigar - in his own apartment.

According to papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, Lysons will have to pony up every time his neighbors smell cigar smoke in their apartment. If he doesn't pay within 15 days, he'll be on the hook for an additional $1,500 per stogie, the New York Post reported.

Despite all that, it's possible Lysons is getting off cheap. The court order brings to an end a $2 million lawsuit Lysons' neighbors brought against him for stinking up their home. Russell and Amanda Poses complained of "foul and noxious odors," telling the Post, "It's pungent enough that you can't eat dinner."

And interrupted dinner plans aren't the biggest downside of someone else's cigar habit.

The American Cancer Society says secondhand smoke causes 46,000 deaths a year from heart disease among nonsmokers who live with smokers. In addition, the society says, secondhand smoke causes about 3,400 deaths from lung cancer each year among nonsmokers, as well as hundreds of thousands of respiratory and ear infections.

The Poses claimed in their lawsuit that Lysons' fumes were giving their six- and three-year-old children breathing problems and ear infections.

Both sides acknowledge that Lysons isn't going to change his habits anytime soon. Lysons' lawyer, Jeffrey Marcus, told the Post, "I think when you're in your 70s you're entitled to some of the remaining pleasures in life. He's earned the right to smoke a cigar and have some brandy at night. He'll just have the cigar on the street."

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Should Harry Lysons be free to indulge in his own home? Or should he be on the hook for turning his neighbors' apartment into a chimney?

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