Rockland man aims to ban smoking inside adult care facilities

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New legislation could ban smoking inside adult care facilities.

It's currently legal for the homes to have designated smoking rooms, but a Rockland County man is trying to change that.

"All New Yorkers, whether they are disabled or not, have a right to breathe clean, smoke-free, unpolluted air,” says Edward Branca, of Nanuet.

It comes after the Health Department shut down the smoking room where he lives at the Spring Valley rest home that was adjacent to the dining area. Branca battles physical and mental challenges.
"Residents would open the door to go in and out of the smoking room every five minutes, and the smell would come right out,” says the 68-year-old.

According to the Clean Indoor Air Act, smoking is permitted in a separate designated smoking room at adult care facilities in New York.

Golden Acres in Spring Valley is just one home for adults that has an indoor smoking room - a room resident Lauren McWilliams uses every morning.

"The smoke doesn't go out in the hallways, it's usually contained in the room,” she says.

 Branca believes it shouldn't be allowed. He says he is now working with the county and the state to pass legislation to ban smoking rooms inside adult homes.

"This is a major loophole and it's something that most people don't recognize that this still exists,” says state Sen. David Carlucci.  

Carlucci is working to pass the bill this year.

"Smoking as we know kills about 480,000 Americans each year - 10 percent of that is contributed to secondhand smoke,” he says.

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