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Suffolk Lawmakers Approve Smoking Ban In Common Areas At Apartment Complexes

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- After complaints from residents about smoking, lawmakers in Suffolk County unanimously passed legislation Tuesday that would ban smoking at apartment buildings, condo complexes and senior facilities.

The bill would prohibit smoking in all common areas inside and outside, including hallways, courtyards, elevators and swimming pools, WCBS 880's Sophia Hall reported.

The bill must still be approved by Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, but aides told Newsday that Bellone supports the legislation. 

Violators would face a $250 fine. Repeat offenders could be fined up to $1,000 or sentenced to six months in jail.

Residents would be allowed to smoke in their own units.

The buildings must have 10 or more units for the law to be enforced.

Legislator Monica Martinez, D-Brentwood, who sponsored the measure, said that one of the biggest concerns for apartment complex residents she spoke to was smoking in the buildings, especially for non-smokers and those with health issues.

"I'm a non-smoker -- actually, I'm allergic. So when you do go around people smoking, it is irritating and we need to protect everyone," Martinez said.

There are similar laws already in effect in California and Illinois.


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