Posted at: 04/01/2013 5:27 PM
| Updated at: 04/01/2013 5:43 PM
By: Bill Lambdin
SCHENECTADY - The cigarette Tracie Hall lit up was expensive, dangerous to her health, and now against the rules almost everywhere in the Lincoln Heights Apartments in Schenectady.
"It's like communism," said Hall. "I'm sorry. This is, you're supposed to be free to do what you want to do."
Tracie and a couple of other women were puffing away in the only place smoking is still allowed at Lincoln Heights, an outdoor, open air gazebo.
"Next thing you're going to tell me I have to get permission to have company in my house," said a smoking companion.
Similar no smoking except in small, isolated outside pockets went into effect Monday at two other municipal complexes in the city.
The plan was announced six months ago and smokers were offered free classes intended to help them quit.
"Quite a bit of feedback positive and negative, of course," said Richard Homenick, the Executive Director of the Schenectady Municipal Housing Authority. "What really inspired this several years ago was complaints that were initiated by tenants."
The complexes have old buildings with not so great ventilation. That second hand smoke exposure is one of the driving factors here. But it doesn't mean the smokers aren't feeling put upon.