Skip to comments.Secondhand Smoke Gets in Your Rights
Posted on 11/19/2013 1:19:52 PM PST by Kaslin
Berkeley, Calif., City Councilman Jesse Arreguin has recommended that the city ban smoking in single-family homes. Councilwoman Susan Wengraf, who supports an ordinance to ban smoking in multiunit dwellings, is appalled.
"The whole point is to protect people who live in multiunit buildings from secondhand smoke," Wengraf said. Locals have told her they find the notion of a ban in single-family homes scary. "I hope he wakes up and pulls it," she said.
Actually, I think Wengraf should want Arreguin's recommendation to stick around. After all, his proposal makes the multiunit ordinance seem reasonable.
Arreguin aide Anthony Sanchez tells me that the recommendation is really just a "footnote," "a non-actionable topic of future consideration."
Or call it the next logical step. Berkeley already has banned smoking outdoors -- in commercial districts, in parks and at bus stops, where nonsmokers are free to walk away from smokers or ask them to move. With that ordinance on top of California laws banning smoking in the workplace, at restaurants and in bars, have advocates of nonsmokers' rights determined that their work is done? Never!
The job is never done in the nanny state. Hence the Berkeley proposal, hardly the first in the Bay Area, to ban smoking in multiunit dwellings. Wengraf tells me that smoke can get into ventilation systems and spread through a building.
But what if it doesn't? What if you live in a building where secondhand smoke doesn't leach? There is no burden of proof that your smoke bothers others. If you smoke in an apartment, you're guilty.
Enter Arreguin, who fears that the multiunit ordinance would fall "disproportionately and unfairly on the backs of tenants." It's not fair. So if the city is going to tell renters what they can do in their own lodgings, he writes, it should pass a ban "in any dwelling (including single-family dwellings)." In deference to the secondhand smoke rationale, Arreguin suggests that the ban apply if a minor lives in the home, "a non-smoking elder (62 or older) is present" or any other "non-smoking lodger is present."
Walter Olson of the libertarian Cato Institute compares the Berkeley nanny ordinance to secondhand smoke itself: "They are seeping under our doors now to get into places where they're not wanted."
He faults "ever more ambitious smoking bans" that rework the definition of private space. "Now they're really just saying it doesn't matter if you have the consent of everyone in the room." Olson savored Arreguin's suggestion that 62-year-olds cannot consent to being near a smoker.
When I asked Cynthia Hallett of the Berkeley-based Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights whether she supports the Arreguin recommendation, she answered, "Right now, the policy trend is really for multiunit housing."
The left always likes to say that the government shouldn't tell people what they can and cannot do in their own bedrooms. Yet here is progressive Berkeley about to pass a law that tells people they cannot smoke in their own bedrooms.
Of course, there is an exemption for medical marijuana. City Hall wouldn't dare to tell pot smokers not to exhale. After all, they have rights.
I’m not a smoker, but if I lived in one of these apartments, I would be tempted to get a tobacco scented candle just to rile things up.
Opt for the bust of Winston Churchill that burns cigar scented incense...
Any new ordinance for more items to tax when the tobacco taxes fall even more?
This is what it inevitably comes to in a Marxist State - the politburo considers it has the right to tell you what you can and cannot do in your own home.
Expect to see more and more of this sort of Liberal Fascism in the coming years.
The Bay Area - where you can smoke a pole to your heart’s content, but don’t even THINK of lighting up a Marlboro!
I would say “poison yourself” by way of cigarettes, if you want to - but don’t try poisoning me and trampling on my rights to NOT BE POISONED by some crazy or nutty smoker (or even a “sane smoker” - but that’s questionable if they exist, considering what they’re doing).
It’s not just in kooky California. My apartment community is trying to make us sign an addendem to our lease dealing with “second hand smoke”. I asked them, “okay, are you going to get rid of the charcoal grills scattered around for our use because of global warming?”
Our management team has no sense of humor. All a bunch of lib women. And in middle Tenn! Go figure.
My lawyer is looking into it because I don’t think they have the legal authority to stop a smoker in the leased unit from smoking. Many folks go on their porch or balcony and they say that’s not allowed either.
So they are trying to make the entire property smoke-free. I bet they don’t advertise that.
I’m going to use the internet sites that review these places to rake them over the coals.
I’ll second that and I don’t smoke.
I’ll add...Busy-body “LIBERAL” a-holes.
The smoker has a right to, as you put it, “poison himself.” Your right as a nonsmoker is to either stand elsewhere or politely ask the smoker to do so.
It seems the nanny state has done the same thing to common courtesy that it has done to common sense.
I quit 20+ years ago, but I’d fire up a Camel to blow smoke in these clowns’ faces.
“but thats questionable if they exist, considering what theyre doing).”
LOL-—the old broad brush painting.Looks like you bought the entire anti-smoking hysteria scenario.
There are still quite a few old smokers around,including me.
“My lawyer is looking into it because I dont think they have the legal authority to stop a smoker in the leased unit from smoking.”
They have had the authority in other cases,even in the case of owners being prohibited from smoking in their units.
They use the health issue as a reason.
I have no problem with making a multi-unit residential building a no-smoking building inside and out.
But only if it starts out that way from the beginning and people know that up front when they buy/rent the unit.
Otherwise, it should take a 100% buy-in from all the condo owners to change the rules.
If a building is owned by ONE individual, the Owner should be able to make the call. It’s his/her property.
Well, I don’t consider it sane to continually poison oneself - however, I don’t have any problem with that kind of insanity, as long as it’s kept to themselves.
When it involves others who don’t want to be poisoned, including me - then those smokers are trampling on my rights. It’s that simple.
My bottom line is to “Keep it to yourself and don’t involve me against my will in any way, shape or form.”
It’s my right to stand exactly where I’m standing and tell the smoker to get his poisonous smoke out of my proximity. That smoker has exactly ZERO RIGHTS to have his poisonous fumes around me.
Long time no see....
Then don't drive your carbon-monoxide spewing car on my planet. Also, don't BBQ anything, or use toxic chemicals (paints, cleansers, etc.) anywhere on my planet. Don't use electricity unless you're generating it yourself with solar or wind (just don't kill my birds if you're using wind).
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