Are Your Neighbors Sharing Their Toxic Smoking Habits with You?

You may be a nonsmoker, but are your neighbors sharing their bad habit with you? It’s estimated that nearly half of apartment-dwellers are exposed to smoke from a neighboring unit. And with 69 toxic chemicals in cigarette smoke, that’s a big deal.

A recent lawsuit in New York City may change all that. A resident sued her co-op building because she was being subjected to smoke from her neighbors’ cigarettes – and won. This ruling is likely to make landlords and homeowners’ associations think twice about allowing smoking in their units.

Watch: Heavy Smoker Suffers Heart Attack at 28

Attorney Areva Martin says, “Lots of people are living in apartments where something like this might be going on, so that’s why this is so ground-breaking.” Whether it’s smoke or toxic chemicals, apartment building owners are responsible to protect their tenants from hazards.

ER Physician Dr. Travis Stork says, “I do empathize and feel for a smoker who has not yet kicked the habit.” Maybe apartment buildings will add a smoking lounge – but that might not solve the problem, since smoke can still escape into the building.

Watch: Young Heart Attack Survivor Seeks Treatment for Smoking

The Doctors agree that the tide has turned against tobacco. Smoking laws are getting tougher all the time. This is just one more reason to quit the habit.