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Sued for Smoking

Talk about taking drastic measures to get someone to quit smoking—one smoker is being sued by her neighbors because her cigarette smoke is allegedly permeating the rest of her New York City apartment building. Galila Huff, a consistent smoker for 40 years, was served with a letter last October from Jonathan Selbin, her neighbor, demanding that she immediately stop smoking for find a way to better ventilate her apartment so the smoke doesn't trickle out into the hall or into other apartments.

Though Galila did her best to remedy the situation by trying to quit, insulating her apartment and even buying air purifiers, nothing appeased them. When ABC News got involved and visited the building in question, they found that the hallways were nearly 10 feet wide and the offended neighbor's apartment is nearly 50 feet away—far enough for the smoke to dissipate without entering their personal space. Selbin, a class action lawyer, did not relent and has actually sent her a settlement agreement, the details of which have not been disclosed.

"I don't want to harm anyone. I'm trying not to smoke," Galila told ABC News correspondent John Stossel. "But you know, I cannot do more than that. This is my demon, I'm a smoker. What can I do? I'm smoking for 40 years."

Health concerns aside, if Galila's smoke is affecting a shared living space, should she be required to quit smoking to stay in her apartment? Is it ok to sue someone to get them to stop smoking? [ABC News]

Posted: 4/7/08