Smoking Ban Hits Home. Truly.

A strict antismoking law in a city in Silicon Valley has effectively banned lighting up in all apartment buildings.

Comments: 125

  1. They often don't allow shooting ranges in apartment buildings either.

    I'd still be okay with those smokeless cigarettes, so the rest of us don't have to suffer.

  2. Its a matter of simple courtesy. Why should I disturbed in my home by the stench of stale cigarettes every day. Sorry, but you dont have the right to pollute my air. Just because you have been doing it for 50 years doesnt make it right. Finally I am getting some satisfaction after complaining about smokers in my building for years. If you must smoke, do it where nobody is bothered... outside.

  3. Well! The nerve of people - thinking that they have a right to breathe air that has not been poisoned!

    Thank you, Mr. Goodrich! :)

  4. A mans home is his castle ? A womans home is her castle ? They owe their soul to the companies store. What used to was is no more. The USA is not FREEDOM LAND any more.How are we going to tell others that we are free ? I used to smoke. 2 packs a day for 40 years. I stopped out of fear after a 5 way by-pass 20 plus years ago and recently was told I have lung cancer. Probably got it from second hand smoke. But " not in my apartment". That is going too far Let them be ..

  5. What's the next step in this Silicon Valley city now that it's banned smoking? Requiring all residents to eat only health foods? Restrict consumption to 1500 calories a day? Get up at 4 AM for daily calisthenics? Lights out at 10 PM every night? Submit to random examinations by a "Health Czar" to ensure everyone is in compliance and no one cheating?

    Tyranny doesn't happen overnight. It's achieved one step at time and enforced by the community of the rigid and self-righteous.

  6. I think that it is no accident that the problem is cropping up in California -- and it is not just the fact that California is out ahead on smoking restrictions. A peculiar problem is that apartment complexes in California are much more susceptible to transmision of smoke from one unit to another. Apartment buildings in California are often "open-air" type set ups with shared heating ductwork, shared breezeways and other setups that make them uniquely conducive to smoke being transmitted. And the buildings themselves are flimsy wood and drywall structures, where smoke can similarly pass through. These are not those brick and concrete structures with water-heated radiators like on the East Coast! When I first adopted my son, we lived in a six unit apartment complex in San Francisco. We had one tenant in the building who smoked. A very nice lady, but her smoke permeated the building. Within a couple of months, my son began to suffer asthma-type problems, serious breathing problems. We moved into a single family home and, voila, problems gone. Unfortunately, many cannot move. I fully support banning smoking in multi-unit buildings in California.

  7. Due to the ventilation system in many apartment complexes smoke can move directly from one person's home to another, not just through walls and floors. It makes complete sense to protect your health, especially if you have chronic breathing problems. I applaud Mr. Goodrich for standing up for himself in front of hostile neighbors!

  8. That is outrageous. You can buy and own cigarettes there -- that is legal. What are you supposed to do with them? It's like a bad law from the communist era.

  9. More than 50 studies show that human papillomaviruses cause over ten times more lung cancers than they pretend are caused by secondhand smoke. Passive smokers are more likely to have been exposed to this virus, so the anti-smokers' studies, because they are all based on nothing but lifestyle questionnaires, have been cynically DESIGNED to falsely blame passive smoking for all those extra lung cancers that are really caused by HPV.

    http://www.smokershistory.com/hpvlungc.htm

    The anti-smokers have committed the same type of fraud with every disease they blame on smoking and passive smoking, as well as ignoring other types of evidence that proves they are lying, such as the fact that the death rates from asthma have more than doubled since their movement began.

    http://www.smokershistory.com/newviews.htm

    And it's a lie that passive smoking causes heart disease. AMI deaths in Pueblo actually ROSE the year after the smoking ban.

    http://www.smokershistory.com...

  10. I live in a 10 unit brownstone and just one smoker in the building fouls the whole building.

  11. This is ridiculous. Hey why stop with smoking? Car exhaust can kill you too. Lets ban all automobiles 50ft from all apartment buildings because we all know fumes are seeping through our walls and windows. We can’t smell or see it …but it’s there and killing us all. Fatty foods are another public health concern. Tell you what, let’s make a ban on snicker bars and bon bons. The flatulence that emanates from your typical fat American is offensive and unhealthy. Type II diabetics are overwhelming our medical system (refer to another NYT article.) Lets regulate everything that affects the public so that the only people who can really enjoy personal freedom would either be rich or criminal.

  12. I live in an apartment building where the smoke from my neighbor below travels through the heating vents and into my apartment. I breath it in and it makes my place smell like an ashtray. I wish all cities had the foresight of Belmont.

  13. Absolutely unbelievable. Give me liberty or give me death. Liberty just extends that much more to those fortunate enough to own their own homes.

  14. "What's next?" That's the question that needs to be asked. If they can get away with this, it's a pretty logical next step to government surveillance cameras inside our homes for "enforcement purposes." You may not have much sympathy for smokers, but think of your own rights and privacy. The precedent being set here is truly terrifying.

  15. If smokers love cigarette smoke so much, why don't they close their windows when they light up and enjoy all the smoke in their own homes? No, they want to puff out the window so someone else in a neighboring apartment has to breathe it. We don't let people drive drunk, we don't let people make threats against others, why would we allow them to send cancer-causing smoke into other people's homes? Smokers say that OTHERS should buy air filters and close their windows. Yeah, the way innocent people should stay off the sidewalk so drunk drivers don't have to worry about hitting them.

  16. Accommodations could have been made, with the smokers in some form of segregation like they usually are. On this issue no one looks for solutions though. Tobacco, and by extension, it's users are deemed evil in our society. Eventually they'll die out.
    Then who among us can we look to as jeopardizing our health and finances? Who else can we target and make the state and lawyers rich?
    Why, it's you bud... Did you think you weren't affecting others? Let's go through your life and see if we can find something negative. Your not perfect, it's there, right?

  17. Next. Get rid of your keys because they will come into where you live and crag you out. Sieg Heil

  18. Now I've heard it all. I just wonder how many residents are also affected by exhaust fumes, or do they not count when it comes to inflicting poisonous gases?

    Here's a funny thing though, with Utah also having strict smoking laws, Salt Lake City has one of rare airports that still has smoking areas. Go figure.

  19. Smoking is an addiction. I don't want an addict puffing away where I live, do you?

  20. Enough of the nanny state. Are we next to ban high fat ice cream, and deep fried foods. Perhaps we could have an obesity tax on some who are less than perfect. Fat people cause more than their share of global warming, hurting all on the planet.

  21. The dangers from cigarette smoke are negligible.

    If human health and public air quality are the objectives (which clearly they are), then it would make MUCH more sense to ban all cars from all streets.

  22. It seems unfortunate that one's privacy and free will at home comes into such direct conflict with consideration for other's comfort at home. However, I think making things illegal is somewhat pointless because (a) it is rarely enforced (making my point somewhat pointless as well), and because laws are never as flexible and reasonable as the multitude of various situations would necessitate them to be. For example, a grouchy person who doesn't really care about cigarette smoke could harass a person in the same building with depression or schizophrenia who uses cigarettes in a therapeutic (although physically unhealthy) way.

    On the other hand, a person could own a barking dog, light incense, have three hundred candles (that might set the building on fire), and do all sorts of obnoxious things that could bother other tenants. While smoking has a somewhat special status, because it is very common and particularly annoying to some people, can tenants get together and start making all sorts of things illegal? If air freshener goes through the vents should that become illegal? How about cooking parmesan cheese or garlic? Where would you draw the line?

    It seems the most reasonable response is for an adult to talk to another adult in an adult way and reach a conclusion without needing a law. Are people in this country so mentally and empathetically enfeebled that they can not reach basic compromises on relatively unimportant issues without legislatures working on their behalves? What if the smoking woman only smokes when it rains outside? What if the man opens a window? What if the woman smokes in the bathroom or in a place where the smoke won't escape or uses air freshener? What if the man buys a fan and his own air freshener?

    It seems stupid to make laws which can potentially be used to bully people just because people have lost the capacity or volition to talk to one another.

  23. Enough. Just bloody enough with the Nazi health police.

    I can't stand the smell of fish cooking. It literally makes nauseated to the point of vomiting. Are they going to ban that?

    I can't have screaming children outside my door or walls. It upsets my Service Dog and makes him pace and bark. The dog has a legal right to be there. The children do not. Going to ban the rugrats?

    If these multi-family units were better built with good ventilation systems, there would be no problem.

    The self-righteous are forcing people - in this case elderly low income people - from their homes and from the very town.

    Can't stand the scents or odors from your neighbor's apartment? Then buy a top quality air filter system. The ones that work and do remove smoke are around $1100.

    Or they can move rather than forcing out others.

    Sorry but someone's right to regulate what other pwople do in their own homes stops at the other person's front door.

    Years ago I moved from a 2 flat duplex to get away from my neighbors who cooked fish and cabbage. The smells made me feel ill.

    The whiners can do the same.

  24. Ridiculous. Smoking in ones own home isn't harming anyone but the smoker themselves. As an ex-smoker even I can agree that everyone has a right to do it. As a democrat i say this is an instance of too much bureaucracy.

  25. Hurrah for Belmont! These smokers have no right to kill the rest of us with their disgusting second hand smoke in our homes. I wish more cities and towns were as forward thinking as Belmont is.

  26. I would love it if that law were passed in Oakland too. Then I wouldn't be inhaling my downstairs neighbor's cigarettes and second- and third-hand smoke, and neither would the people across the hall from her, nor the people in the apartment downstairs from her. Her illness is contagious and we all have to partake of it, just by breathing.

  27. Smokers of pot, sniffers of cocaine, injecters of heroin etc. are forbidden from doing THEIR thing, in their homes or out of them; why should nicotine addicts be treated differently? Are they something special? Of Course the afore-mentioned drugs are illegal .... maybe we should just cut straight to the chase and do the same with tobacco. Let's really level this playing field.

  28. I am not one of the anti-smoking gestapo - I happen to cheat every now and then because I am addicted, however, my mom was a top nurse and always said that smoking was one of the single greatest things that a person could quit doing that harmed themselves and those around them and cost $$$$$$ to the whole society in health care / end of life expenses.

    The fact that smoking is being made more difficult everywhere is fine with me - because I don't crave as much what I cannot have, and if I want it that bad - I will either hike the distance and redo the airport security etc. - or realize it's a problem and give it up.

  29. A good reporter checks basic facts like is Belmont in Silicon Valley? The answer is no, it is 20 miles to the north on the San Francisco peninsula in San Mateo County. Silicon Valley is basically the same as Santa Clara County (and valley).

  30. People falling asleep smoking burns down apt buildings all the time. Wanna smoke?
    Buy a house.

  31. Normally I have a very libertarian attitude toward social and privacy issues since other people's lifestyle choices generally do not affect others..... If someone wants to drink a lot and they don't drive, or otherwise become dangerous it does not affect me. Also, and more importantly, their alcohol will never end up in my liver. Smoke, on the other hand, is uncontrollable, easily affecting others directly and it is for this reason that many of us nonsmokers want to see it regulated. Secondhand smoke drifts into my apartment and causes me quite a bit of discomfort. I'm concerned about the long-term affects on my health as well. Smokers have the right to smoke as much as they like, but do NOT have the right to let their choice impact those who do not wish to be exposed to smoke. I would love to see a law like this passed in NYC.

  32. Nothing I enjoy more than watching nicotine addicts hit bottom and go into withdrawal. It's the first step, you know.

  33. It is disgusting to even pull up behind someone in a car and SMELL the smoke. ICK! Although I am very sensitive to smoke and smells like perfume, I am not sure that my needs and dislikes should rule.

  34. As an ex (3 packs a day) smoker I understand the angst of those who still light up. However:

    I've lived in a 350 unit co-op here in New York City for 15 years. In that time we have had two major fires in the building, both related to smoking in bed. I'm now ready to petition our Board of Directors to veto applicants who still smoke.

    In exchange we can take in dog owners.

  35. This is truly anti-American. Its about time everyone starts respecting peoples individual rights when it comes to tobacco. Now CA residents can (with permit) keep a loaded gun in their apartment while toking up on a bong, but couldn't dare light a cigarette?

  36. Perfect. I like it not because my neighbors smoke affects my health, but simply because it stinks - the smell comes all the way into my apartment. I will enjoy the elevator rides a lot more without cigarette stench too.

  37. Welcome to the nanny state, next step: private homes.

  38. I hope all the neo-prohibitionists are happy. They finally came for your home on this one. When they come for your big mac or your booze or your ice cream they'll be the first to cry foul. What kind of country are we becoming?

    I would have far more respect for these anti-smoking groups if they actually came out in support of what they really believed in outright: they want to criminalize tobacco consuption fully. The fact that they go around and around trying to restrict it little by little and de-facto criminalizing it by making a pack of cigarettes prohibitiely expensive speaks not of their "health advocacy" but of their savage desire to control people's lives with their puritanical outrage that would make Salem proud. It is dishonest and destructive of liberty. If you want to ban smoking outright, come out and say it, smokers would have more respect for you. At least it would be intellectually honest.

  39. Great News! I hope this begins a trend which sweeps through the State. As long as there are common airways in buildings smoking within them should be banned whether public or private.

  40. I live in a nonsmoking apartment building, and I'm a nonsmoker. Unfortunately, the ban on indoor smoking means that the smokers stand around outside and smoke, which makes the smoke drift into the apartments even more than if they lit up inside. Also, the building's yards and recreational areas are now the smoking lounge.

    There's a 25 foot distance required from any window or door, but that's nothing in a good breeze.

  41. What a well written article.

  42. Smokers should be able to smoke anywhere, if they use their self-containing face-mask that doesn't leak out any poisonous smoke!

  43. Good. Maybe now we can get it through smokers' heads that they have no right to threaten other people's lives in order to pursue their self-absorbed and utterly stupid "habit".

    Maybe this will shut up the fact-challenged tobacco nuts who whine, "You're not breathing in smoke, you're breathing in the SMELL of smoke, you pathetic malingering weirdos who won't let me pollute your air for my own selfish purposes!!!"

    What do these members of the IQ squad think smells are made up of: rainbows and sunshine? Smells are made up of particles. That's how the nose works. If someone can smell smoke, they're inhaling smoke. No exceptions, no discussions.

    JUST QUIT. Don't buy cigarettes and you can't smoke.

  44. Even trace amounts of cigarette smoke make a lot of us feel nauseas and sick so this idea of a ban is great.

    Also, cigarette smokers ought to pay the health care costs attributed to smoking, otherwise non-smokers end up subsidizing their lifestyle habits. Dr. Leonard S. Miller of UC Berkeley authored a study that demonstrated that 12% of health care costs were caused by smoking. 12% of last year's $2.1 trillion health care budget is $250 billion for 18 billion packs smoked or $13/pack. Even if this study was off by a factor of two that would still come to $6.50 per pack. In this era of hard economic times why should non-smoker be subsidizing this habit which since 1964 (about 45 years ago) there have been warnings on each pack of cigarettes that smoking is very bad for your health?

    Boeing estimates that it pays $60 million more per year in health care premiums for its smoking employees. Automobile manufacturers must spend many tens of millions of dollars per year on smokers as well which goes to increase the cost of their automobiles making them more expensive for people to buy.

    If people want to smoke that is their issue but please, please pass legislation that puts a health service fee on the cost of cigarettes that then goes directly into the health care system to pay for smokers health care costs. Otherwise non-smokers end up subsidizing the health care of smokers.

  45. If you think the economy's bad now, imagine it after you kill off the TOBACCO INDUSTRY.

    All the States that support "Smoke Free Environments" should include the exhaust from uninspected trucks, buses, etc. not just cigarettes.

    My non-smoking father lived his entire life with 3 active 2 1/2 pack a day smokers. By the way, he was 98 years old when the 2nd hand smoke finally got him!!!

  46. what can i say? this is Crazy!

  47. As far as I'm concerned this issue is one of those convenient, little red herrings drawing our attention from the real culprit behind air and environmental pollution in our cities: the automobile.
    How is going after this woman's right to enjoy a bad habit in her own home more acceptable than my being able to tell that lonely SUV driver that he/she can no longer make unnecessary trips around my neighborhood when those are polluting my lungs and the environment to a far, far greater extent than this little, old smoker in her apartment!?
    While I don't allow smoking in my own home, and never have, I've lived in multiple buildings with smoking neighbors and have never smelled smoke, or food, or paint, or anything within my domicile.
    Which is to say that this does seem suspiciously overzealous to me. For instance, why not lobby the government for better regulation of building codes and materials, so that smells don't wander from apartment to apartment? For if the walls are really so porous or the vents shared, I'd be surprised if smoke were the only smell this man's neighbors are producing which he doesn't wish to confront...

  48. Interesting how a smoking ban can lieterally allow the shutting out of smoking products into the air without any real legal grandfathering clauses being brought into the whole equation. In Florida, the ST. Johns River is allowing to have cancerous,raw, untreated, wood fibers released and spewed into the 300 mile plus St. Johns River and that is okay. We are both in the same country and Florida too has restrictive smoking laws yet Florida allows cancer fluids to pass into the water of the St. JOns River and the court have upheld this activity thus far. The reasoning behind this whole polluting issue is flawed yet in contiunues although everyone knows it is harming and killing people and all life surronding and living in the river basin. Where does the spewing of smoke into the air differ? The lawyers are playing with everyone and at the cost of the people's health. Does anyone have a rantionale for this continued activity?

  49. In a country that has waived the basic rights granted by the Constitution, I'd say that worrying about smoking rights is about number 15,000 on the priority list. Non-smokers have rights to fresh air, and in close quarters many buildings do not have ventilation systems to guarantee it. So, smokers, suck it up.

  50. sounds like the real problem is two fold: 1. OLD people with nothing to do, and, 2.HVAC problems.
    Really, Belmont, a news item is "cat crosses Main St. and survives".

  51. Two packs a day??!! This old woman has been committing a slow suicide and doesn't care who she takes with her.

  52. I get it. I wouldn't want to be in an apartment with my neighbor's smoke constantly drifting in the window either. I know it's cliche, but I agree: you're welcome to smoke, just not where I'm affected by it. I'm pretty sure the smokers wouldn't be happy if a neighbor played loud music at all hours. In fact, they probably already have rules against that. When you live in close proximity with others it's polite and arguably necessary to behave in ways that don't antagonize your neighbors. If you want no restrictions then an urban apartment probably isn't the your best choice.

  53. She should complain loudly about her neighbors cooking ordors and noise and tell how it made her sick. ... Different strokes for different folks.

  54. Absolutely ridiculous. But can I suggest that the fine city fathers of Belmont outlaw automobiles and industry, too? Now that would make some sense.

  55. what's next? no curry cooking in my apartment? did they ban busses and cars from driving past apartment buildings, too? absurd.

  56. Oh for heaven'e sake. Ever hear of Filtrete air filters? They work. Big Brother has no right to say what someone can do in their own home. If smokers want to smoke, let them. Install air purifying systems, and leave them alone.

  57. Those who can, do.

    Those who can't, teach.

    Those who can't teach, pass laws (and raise children not averse to employing brute force, even against their own).

  58. Fascism comes to America. Whatever happened to tolerance?

  59. Spot-on! Now if we could just get the things pulled off the shelves, so that the addicts who still suffer could quit easier.

    Smoking is a vulgar addiction. How can you tell? By the means to which the addicts will go to keep on getting their fix. They will addict their children (or make them suffer through the noxious fumes.) They will drive many miles in the middle of the night to get a cigarette if they run out. That is not sane behavior. That's the ugly side of addiction.

    The air I breathe is not theirs to pollute. It's not okay to make me live with their choice. When they get a hermetically sealed tent and want to kill themselves by living within it with their cancer sticks, the libertarian in me will let them (so long as they tend to their worldly affairs ahead of time.) But that's not likely. Meanwhile, their stench and toxic gas comes into MY world, makes me have to breathe it and suffer their addiction too? No way!

    Smokers love to play the victim. Fact is, they're victimizing others, and it's about time we took back the air we breathe.

    To the lady in the article: We're not telling you how to live (right here in America.) We're telling you how you can't impose your choices on the rest of us -- right here in America. Our right to breathe smoke-free air comes before your right to smoke and impose it on everyone else. Mind if I start up a toxic chemical lab next door to you, and have that coming into YOUR apartment? I bet you do... right here in America, your right to do as you like still stops somewhere before our noses and lungs.

    That tobacco isn't illegal, (but Sudafed is now a controlled substance,)cracks me up. The government will allow anything for a buck. It's about time the People took the air back. Thank you!

  60. There should be a law against having your car window down in traffic or walking on the sidewalk without a mask to prevent for carbon monoxide poisoning,it's a good thing their is so many foreclosures on the market since that's the only place you can smoke.I am so glad this wont effect me since I live in a house,Smoking should only be for the privileged,to show a status of wealth,when I light up it's because I'm someone important,so many people will be envious,and all the kids will want to be like me.

  61. That you choose to damage your own health is one thing, but second-hand smoke is even more damaging to the non-smoker. The ban is a good thing for the general welfare.

  62. A common smoking area within and outside the apt building must be provided....this isnt Germany 1930.....And I say this as a non smoker.....

  63. You know non-smokers go on about courtesy without end. What about courtesy for smokers? In the meantime there are fewer and fewer places left to smoke. I guess we'll be considered courteous when there is no place left and we can't do it. These people really want to outlaw it but the tobacco lobby is too strong so they're doing the next best thing regulating it to oblivion.

    The really obnoxious thing is the idea of second hand smoke. If there were a science prize for pseudo-science this would get it. When I was growing up people smoked everywhere but church. In college we even smoked in class. Every building had an incinerator. The garbage dumps in New Jersey burned trash non-stop. Coal was still a common heater fuel and brakes were made of asbestos. If there were a generation that was going to be dead from the effects of second hand smoke it would be mine. And yet we have the longest healthiest lives to date. This is just an empirical observation, it's not statistical based pseudo-science. Now there is mention of third hand smoke. Too much.

    In time cigarettes, and alcohol too for that matter (now one drink and you're DUI), will be outlawed. This will be as successful as the war on drugs but America will persist in stupidity like this until we can't afford to do it anymore. We like to pretend we're a free country while we boss everyone and each other around. If we have to make dubious health claims to do it, fine. Hey, Bush and Cheney used made up threats to invade Iraq, the ultimate in the American attitude.

    I actually quit for 17 years but went back when I realized I really did miss it that much. It helps keep me from mowing down joggers and bikers who clog the roads while I'm driving. As Kurt Vonnegut would say, "so it goes."

  64. Utopianism is the leading killer of liberty. How about a ban on utopianism?

  65. To live in an apartment building is to be connected to neighbors. It is for this very reason that apartment complexes have rules governing noise, garbage, and even laundry. So, to conclude that an Orwellian Big Brother has arrived by banning smoking in apartment units is faulty logic.

    The truth is for years non-smoking apartment dwellers have been exposed to dangerous second-hand smoke from their smoking neighbors. If there is any criticism of this ban, it is that we have waited so long for it since our government is sworn to protect our inalienable right to life.

    So, smokers, if you choice to support an industry that profits from your addiction and premature death, please do so away from the rest of us. And before you bring the flag into battle, reread your Constitution. There is no inalienable right to directly and negatively impact the health of others.

  66. Our Manhattan co-op banned smoking in the building years ago. The smokers in the building understand and compy without complaint. Why should the families of non-smokers get a whiff of cigarettes inside their own home?

  67. When smokers find a way to confine the effects of their filthy habit--all of them--to their own bodies, homes, and wallets, they can smoke as much as they wish with my blessings. However, as long as I have to endure my respiratory system being attacked, my sense of smell repulsed, my sight offended by smokers' litter, my dwelling and workplace subject to destruction by fire because of their carelessness, and my wallet emptied by constantly rising insurance premiums caused by the increased instances of smoking related illnesses; what smokers do anywhere is my business and I will back any non-violent measure to stop them.

  68. You have a right to smoke if you choose but not at the expense of my right to breathe clean air.

  69. I'd ban fireplaces in the cities and suburbs first. They put out a lot more smoke. And when people burn wax and sawdust logs, it smells like they are burning garbage. Talk about involuntary exposure to carcinogens!

    I think burning wood in the city should be banned. People can use silk scarves and blowers for a fire image and add an infra-red element for a pleasant heat.

    As to living in buildings with poor ventilation...if you can smell your neighbor's cigarette smoke then likely you can pick up your neighbor's colds and other diseases. You are certainly breathing in lots of their dead skin cells from them and their pets. (People shed 500 tiny pieces of skin per second.) If you can smell their smoke then you can smell their cooking. That is a poor standard of housing, probably not to code.
    If a person complains of headaches or other illness from smelling small amounts of smoke then they probably have sinusitis. Given that most Americans have filthy habits and refuse to use cloth handkerchiefs, or even paper tissues, it's best to avoid people who have sinusitis. It is contagious.

    As regards second hand smoke...most people in the U.S., who are breathing radon and it's byproducts, live in areas where the stone beneath their houses is radioactive. If you have radon in the house, you need to improve your ventilation.
    And, point in fact, if tobacco soil wasn't fertilized with rock fertilizers then there wouldn't be radon in cigarettes. Don't expect "organic" cigarettes to be radon free. Stone fertilizers are considered organic. Anyone smoking should buy tobacco from areas without granite in the subsoil and from farmers who don't use stone fertilizers.

  70. How is a subsidized apartment any different to a hotel? In this day, she should be glad she has a place to live and isn't out on the street.

  71. Sorry, smokers, your "pro-freedom" and "watch out for creeping tyranny!" arguments don't hold up here. Let's take the latter one first. You worry that if the rest of us officious air-breathers take away your "right" to smoke in a shared environment that it'll put us on a slippery slope--"what's next, banning junk food?" asked one commenter, idiotically. But here's the thing: if you eat junk food, you don't get some of it in my colon and liver. When you smoke in my airspace, you cause me to ingest chemicals that have been proved hazardous to everyone but those still living in a state of willful disbelief. That is an important distinction. There is no slippery slope. Just say no to tyranny, but yes to sensible rules that protect one's health, to say nothing of the annoyance factor, which by itself would be grounds for banning smoking in a shared environment.
    As for your "freedom" to smoke where you wish, I have to wonder what kind of parents raised a person who believes he or she has a right to cause discomfort and misery for others in the pursuit of his or her own addiction. This shouldn't even rise to the level of a legal issue, because any moral person would place the safety, health and comfort of other people in a shared environment over his or her own need to indulge in an unhealthful, incredibly annoying habit.
    Lots of things that are legal ain't right. And this is one of 'em. Smokers, we tolerate you because of longstanding custom and inertia--which are basically the same thing--nothing more. But you are a small and dwindling minority with no good case to make for why we should tolerate your obnoxious behavior other than our pity for you. And that you have.

  72. If this is the wave of the future, then stand-alone houses will become more valuable because these types of laws (so far) hit only apt complexes. My hunch is that the only reason smoking is still legal is because states gain so much tax from the sales of cigarettes.

  73. This is absurd. People who live in an apartment have the right to smoke in their apartments--period. Some people complain about the smell of stale smoke. Too bad. Maybe your neighbor doesn't like the smell of curry coming from your apartment from your cooking. Maybe your neighbor doesn't like the perfume that you wear, and he/she is forced to wade through a cloud every morning when he/she goes to work. Would you like to be told to stop marinating yourself in perfume every day or face eviction? Or be told to stop cooking? Of course not. These things are silly. So are peoples' complaints about the smell of stale smoke. Unless a person's smoking is a danger to those around him, he has the right to smoke in his own apartment. If you don't like the smell you can move.

  74. I live in an apartment building and we have the same problem. I don't smoke, but in having a chronic lung problem, I don't appreciate the smoke that permeates my apartment from the dope living next door. We are banned from smoking and barbecuing on our balconies because due to the way our building was constructed, the smoke enters the surrounding apartments. Igniting a charcoal grill can actually end up asphyxiating someone. And smoking just sends the smoke in as well. Our next door neighbor smokes like a chimney on the balconey all day. He denies it to the building manager all the time. I've resorted to taking my phone outside, looking up and calling the manager to describe what he is wearing at that very moment and to confirm he is smoking. The result? The smoker has made it clear he will "beat up" whoever is ratting him out. I didn't know I lived in a grade school playground....how sophmoric. This is the second smoker I've had to deal with in our buidling. The other was the same result: Denial and threats. What is it with these people? Complete idiots. We have two smokers in the building who actually do go outside the building to smoke because they feel they should not subject others to their smoke. They obviously understand the issue.

  75. Sounds like a great idea! I have always believed that a person can smoke, however, they must put a plastic bag over their head and breathe in all the smoke that they generate. Since, according to smokers, there is no problem with smoke, they should be fine.
    Good first step, now, let us enact laws that prohibit smoking within 1000 feet of any person!

  76. I have about the same sympathy for these cigarette smokers as I do for Drug Attics shooting up in my back yard! They're nothing but addicts and there are so many cures for that addiction they're stupid for NOT taking advantage of them. Smokers smell bad, their breath stinks they foul the air, fog windows with yellow stains
    and they toss their butts any where but in a proper place. RAISE THE CIGARETTE TAX TO $5.00 A PACK AND
    END THIS SCOURGE AND HELP THE DEFICIT IN THE PROCESS!

  77. A $100 fine isn't big enough to promote compliance, but the law is a good start.

    If you are worried about a "Nanny State" - you already live in one. If the residents want to bake tobacco brownies (eeew) or go on the patch to get their nicotine fix, they won't put their neighbors and family at risk.

    The process of smoking is by definition toxic to second and third hand participants. Even if you support the right of individuals to damage themselves, they have no right to hurt those around them.

  78. Well, don't forget we now have to worry about THIRD-HAND smoke (whatever that means). And soon fourth-hand and fifth-hand. They'll just keep making stuff up until they can get what they want... and then they still won't be happy.

  79. People can whine all they want about their rights, but face it, cigarette smoke is disgusting and the rest of us shouldn't have to be subjected to it.

  80. Someone's right to smoke ends where their pollutants impact someone else's nose. Second-hand smoke (and now, as we know, the third-hand smoke in the form of toxin-laced particles that settle in the environment indoors) are carcinogens. It unsettles me that so many of our citizens cannot grasp the health implications for others of their addiction.

  81. I smoke. Since the world is overpopulated, i am doing the world a favor by continuing to smoke so i can die early. And i have already signed extensive and exacting Advanced Directives stating i want no medical support in case of lethal illness. So nonsmokers, please be quiet about my slow-motion suicide so i can leave this world to the rest of you!

  82. Everyone has a right to own and use cigarettes. Their rights stop when that usage affects the well-being of other people in their own home. In many apartment buildings, cigarette smoke spreads readily from one apartment to the next through open windows, and shared heating and A/C ducts.

  83. The Belmont smoking ban actually bars smoking from apartments, condominiums, bus stops, and parks.

    Maybe this is a good idea, and maybe it's not, but it's problematic that this specifically stigmatizes portions of the population that more intensively use public space, are poorer (live in multi-family buildings, for instance), and in general have fewer options. Maybe there's not as much pressing need to ban smoking in an individual's detached private residence, but are they required to warn future home buyers that they spent 30 years smoking in the building -- or will those residents just have to deal with the yellowed paint under the wallpaper, and the carcinogenic dust that comes with that kind of treatment?

    Yeah, that example is probably pretty low impact -- a mountain out of a molehill, maybe -- but so are some forms of in-apartment smoking to other residents. Smoking into an open window has a different effect on your neighbor than sitting on the couch with no circulation. This law doesn't include exemptions for people who live in walk-ups without common hallways in between. And for that matter, what of smoking in public, outdoor parks? Certainly, if we allow smoking on the sidewalk, or in a small section of an apartment complex, that can't be bad.

    Again, in principle, I don't think there's anything wrong with limitations on smoking when levied in favor of the public interest. But Belmont's broad smoking ban reflects what seems like this cities vision of itself: A place with a very hard public space-versus-private space distinction, where renters and bus riders and people without back yards so that they might actually have to use the park give up some of their private rights under a blanket law, while no similar demand is placed on single-family homeowners with cars and access to private greenspace or recreation. It's similar to how our federal courts still have a stronger "expectation of privacy" construct for private vehicles than for what is carried on one's person.

    This is another pernicious social problem America's suburbs have to deal with as well.

  84. Bravo! Years ago I lived in an apartment with a smoker next door. He moved in two months after me. I moved out when my lease was up. All my upholstered furniture smelled of smoke for at least a month after my move. Every night I dreaded his return from work and the inevitable stink of his cigarette smoke. It truly is no way to live.

  85. Difficult problem. As a life-long non-smoker I sympathize with those who want to abolish smoking altogether. On the other hand, if rule of the majority is all there is to democracy, then we all will soon lose all our individuality. All of us are or have been affected in other cases by others trying to tell us what to do, often solely for the purpose of exhibiting power and propping up egos at the expense of a minority. Any small group in our society that does something the rest does not identify with or is just indifferent about are permanently threatened by prohibition and criminalization. Hikers, swimmers, divers, skiers, bicycle riders, hunters, etc., etc.
    Individuality needs protection, not persecution.
    One solution could have been to make smoking sections in the apartment block. I suspect that once it came down to ramming the ordinance through, victory over the minority was the most important thing, not thinking about how reasonably to protect their interests.
    Happens all the time. Deep inside, all of us are radicals who like a wolf pack will annihilate the weak who stand in our way. Smokers have done the same for years.

  86. I have lived in apartment buildings and sometimes you CANNOT keep the smoke from seeping in. It was obnoxious. I can't imagine subsidized housing would allow people to pollute the air for other tenants who might have breathing issues. When smokers talk about their "rights" I have a formula for what freedom means; you have the right to swing your fist until it connects with my nose. At that point, I have rights.

  87. Well done in banning smoking in this Residential building in California!

    Mayor Bloomberg should do the same for the plethora of Condominiums and Co-ops in Gotham. Creating smoke-free residences is a no-brainer. In no small way, this would serve the interests of tax-payers health, reduce building fires, and preserve lives and property, and property value. Insurance companies need to wake up and create incentives for Smoke-free buildings.

    In residential buildings, there is no effecitve way for a non-smoker to stop second hand smoke from seeping through shared heating and ventilation, lighting fixures, sockets,under doors and cracks in walls. One read of the 2006 Surgeon General's report on the health dangers of second hand smoke is chilling.

    Cigarette-caused fires are the #1 reason for fire death and kill 5 times more people than fires from other causes.

    I'm not suggesting that that people stop smoking. I'm suggesting they simply smoke outside, out of courtesy to their neighbors and to protect the residential spaces they share with others.

  88. Who pays for the expensive cancer treatment for smokers? It's the non-smokers. It will be a great day when the growing of tobacco is outlawed!

  89. After all the many, many years of warnings, not to mention deaths, I cannot, for the life of me, understand why anyone would smoke. It certainly doesnt do much for your breath, and it's a pretty disgusting action. So sorry, but no sympathy here for people too short-sighted to understand what they're doing to everyone around them. If you want to smoke, fine, go ahead, knock yourself out -- but dont expect me to deal with the after-effects just because you're too egocentric to care.

    As for Belmont being a "nanny state" -- the article mentions a fire, in a facility where no doubt many people have containers of pure oxygen. What kind of idiot would smoke in such an enviroment? Truly, the stupidity of people never ceases to amaze me...

  90. Thank God this long overdue law is finally--slowly--being set into motion. There is NOTHING worse than opening your condo window to enjoy the breeze, only to smell a wave of cigarette smoke wafting in. I can't think of better example of one American's "rights" infringing on another's. Oh wait, there is one worse way: When the said cigarette smoke enters through the vents... It's dispicable, unhealthy, disgusting. Smokers do not have the right to quash my right to breathe clean air. All I want is cigarette smoke-free air. That's all! I'd almost rather let smokers smoke in restaurants again but NOT in their apartment buildngs, because at least I can choose not to go to a restaurant (or I know what I'm in for). At home, no such choice.

  91. I'm so sick of these whiners who try to defend smoking in places where if adversely affects others by trying to frame it as a rights issue, and common-sense legislation designed to protect innocent bystanders as examples of the "nanny state." Is it possible that there is an as-yet-undiscovered chemical in tobacco that makes smokers incapable of understanding the simple and profoundly American concept that people should be free to do whatever they want but only provided that it doesn't harm others?

  92. The Busybodys and cranks are on the march again, ever vigilant and
    righteous in their pursuit of the illusive goal of Absolute Misery. Who
    didn't see this coming? The harpies are at the gate. To arms!

  93. Either make tobacco illegal or remember that smokers are people too. Taking away a persons rights at home are not the way to go.

  94. It sounds like a wonderful place! Wish we could have the same ban here in Philadelphia

  95. Hurrah -- thank heavens for California leading our world to a smoke-free future.

  96. this is ridiculous... second hand smoke kills? sure, which is probably why the guy is now 84 years old and still going strong being exposed to second hand smoke for his entire life...

  97. Smoking should be banned wherever the smoke can affect someone else - that includes in front of the building. It is horrible when you go into a building and have to walk through a gaggle of smokers getting their fix.

    I agree with the poster who said that people who smoke should just go buy a house. That way your smoke only affects those living with you. That way, if you fall asleep with a cigarette, your home is the only one that is affected.

  98. Since Bonnie Brae Terrace is financed in part by my federal tax dollars through the Department of Housing and Urban Development. I think I should have a say in the smoking issue. And I say Yes to the ban.

  99. ....and I might add, if we have laws about our neighbor's noise we can have a law about this.
    Poster #10

  100. I think it's an excessive measure, although I would pay a premium to live in a non-smoking complex (am an ex-smoker).

    As an overall goal though, limiting exposure to smoking whether first or second hand is good for the state budget. The marginal cost of reducing smoking is low compared to savings in medical treatment imposed on all residents equally whether they smoke or not. Non-smokers do have an economic interest in what smokers do.

  101. Judging by that picture of Edith Frederickson she should have quit smoking on day one.

  102. President Obama better hope there isn't a Mr. Goodrich in the White House (in case he lights up). This is a perfect example of what national health care will bring.

  103. Is she outraged that she can no longer make other people sick?
    Where is her compassion?

  104. I am not a smoker, but this is fascism, pure and simple. I would feel more respect for the smokers in California if they simply ignored this law and took the consequences.

  105. The difference between the smell of a candle or fish and cigarette smoke is that cigarettes can kill you. I spent the first 18 years of my life fighting with bronchitis from my parents' smoke. I have never had it again since leaving home. Apartment buildings should be built with ventilation systems to handle smoke and odors. If old ones can't be retrofitted, they should be designated non-smoking. All new ones should be built that way. Everyone who wants to should have the right to smoke. They have no right to make other people smoke with them.

  106. The "nanny state" gets involved in these disagreements when someone brings them to the attention of the state. Keep in mind that this started out with the dissatisfaction of a group of residents who didn't want to be exposed to their neighbors' smoke. The community wasn't looking for a excuse to pass a law against residential smoking. More than likely, they weren't too happy about getting dragged into this dispute. But I think they did the correct thing. The people who DON'T smoke have a right to the "quiet enjoyment" of their own residential space, just as the smokers do. The problems arise when one person's quiet enjoyment is another person's headache or health risk.
    Frankly, despite my misgivings about the "nanny state" (and I do have them) I think the community did what they needed to do to protect the nonsmokers. Most smokers, I've found, are selfish and inconsiderate brutes when it comes to their habit, although the social pressure against smoking has gotten so strong that smokers now ask whether it's okay to smoke around others. You can look at this whole dispute another way; the fact that in order to protect their own space and have clean air to breathe, the nonsmokers had to get the law and the community involved. What that tells you is that the smokers weren't able or weren't willing to do enough to insure the safety of their fellow nonsmoking residents.

    I am both a former smoker (39 years ago, anyway) and a physician, so I come by my antismoking prejudices logically. However, I've also played in bands for years and in plenty of smoky bars. Here in MD, we've cleaned up the air in them, and it's a lot more enjoyable to go out for the evening than it used to be a year or two ago. All the smokers are outside.

    The individual who cited "research" showing that secondhand smoke doesn't cause cancer or heart disease is quite mistaken. She's getting her information from the wrong sources- sources which are not objective. These are the kinds of "scientific" articles which reason backwards from their desired conclusion. She needs to look further and dig deeper. Unless, of course, she has already decided the conclusion she wants and is looking only for research which supports what she wants to believe. That isn't science, but it's a very common habit.

  107. As a smoker who lived in an apartment building for years, I know that the non-smoker's misery is real. I apologize to my co-habitants for the selfishness of my youth. I no longer smoke indoors anywhere.

    As to the issue at hand. Let us just acknowledge that tobacco is a as addictive and dangerous as most other controlled substances and should be made illegal. Or all other drugs should be made legal and civil constraints on their use should be imposed. I would rather not have access to cigarettes than be controlled how I may use them. I would apply the same policy to alcohol as well. Or give a choice between an alcohol liscense or a driving liscense.

    It seems that local governments are the last bastion of protection for the majority.

  108. It is clear from the escalating behavior of the anti smoking/antifat establishment that we need to bring the understandings of modern addiction psychology into the argument.

    Most people familiar with addiction and the subsequent behaviors understand the destructive behaviors of not only the addict but the " Codependents" themselves. Usually they are people who have been deeply affected by some smoking related loss in their life.

    Many codependents will, in complete psychological denial ,start to exhibit many similar destructive behaviors that are similar to the addict, but in different directions. Excessive need to control their surroundings and other people will be exhibited. In Alanon, it is understood that for many codependents that they " have become crazier than the alcoholic himself". Unfortunately they seem to develop these behaviors unconsciously until they are finally at a bottom.

    We are starting to see these behaviors in the anti smoking/anti-fat establishment. They seem to have lost the ability to see whether their behavior, and/or their studies, are appropriate to the situation, or has gone in to far more controlling and destructive patterns. Similar outbursts of self-centered, narcissistic and abusive patterns of controlling behavior are sure signs of a psychological bottom to come.

    The problem is that many of these codependents are in the anti-smokinganti fat establishment and editorial boards of many papers. One sure sign of the debilitating effects of their addiction is the obsessive nature of their desire to rid the public of their sins or habits. Scratch the surface and you will probably find that they believe that they are doing " Good Works". It is quite similar to the patterns of abuse and control that have been found in the churches and other powerful organizations. As their addictive downward spiral continues you may find that they exhibit all the codependent behaviors related to their anger.

    One sure sign is the attempt to use more punitive and harsher actions in attempts to control the "addicts". Think taxes, social ostracization, heaven forbid, little gold cigarettes/ on their jackets.. Think selective and minimal medical treatment for smokers/overweight and other addictions. ( a sort of " I'll show you, you will get what you deserve" retaliatory childish reaction.) In some cases, it leads to a form of delusionary moral superiority addiction where they can't feel good without their moral fix.

    So the next time you run in to one of these Zealots, in print, in person, or paper, be kind, and offer to get then some help. Sound silly?

    At least if we are going to have people like this running public health departments, university studies, and writing editorials, we should establish that they are psychologically fit for doing studies such as these. A sure sign of the illness is if you take away their studies, they will immediately become very angry and exhibit all the signs of withdrawal. Lets give it a try, its only for their own good.

    It's not good to have the inmates running the asylums.

  109. My basic feeling is that we live in America. In America, our homes are our castles. Nobody should be able to tell us what we can and can't do at home. I feel sorry for the guy with asthma, but that doesn't mean that he should be able to control what everyone around him does.

  110. The wish to be a tyranny of one; like Marion Barry's blockage of D.C.'s legislature, she wants to polute the air and be-dahmed to everyone else. Well, everyone else has decided and she has no power to inflict her smoke on other's lungs. Marion Barry, tripped up by his dope habits lost his stepping-stone to power; now he uses his position to trip-up the legislature. Is he still using?

  111. While I sympathize with Ms. Frederickson - I know she feels like she is being denied her rights - I applaud Mr. Goodrich for fighting for what is essentially a human right - the right to breathe clean air in your own home.

    For 2 years my wife and I lived in a beautiful apartment complex at the foot of the mountains in Albuquerque. As nature lovers, it seemed like the perfect location - until smoke from our neighbor below started wafting up to our apartment. We bought fans, air fresheners, we tried to get maintenance to seal up our apartment better - nothing seemed to work.

    Instead we suffered for nearly 2 years before finally getting out. What smokers do not realize - as well as non-smokers who have not lived in these conditions - is just how miserable second-hand smoke can make one feel. My wife is sensitive and would often wake up in the middle of the night with a violent cough. My eyes would turn bloodshot. Now this was on a daily basis - not on just an occasional visit to a bar or restaurant.

    In many ways, I would have preferred to live in a smokey bar - because it seems that in those places you just deal with the smoke hanging in the air. But, since we lived above some chain-smokers, ash would collect inside our vents and you could feel yourself not just inhaling the smoke but the ash as well. Next time you see one of those large ash-trays that are found outside mall entrances, stick your nose real close and inhale deeply and you can then imagine what it feels like to be inhaling cigarette ash in your home.

    We suffered. Our non-smoking neighbors suffered. Although Belmont's decision to enact a city-wide ban on smoking in apartments may seem extreme, it surely is necessary unless landlords can guarantee that non-smokers will not have to breathe in the second-hand smoke created by their neighbors. The creation of separate apartment buildings for smokers may be a way to make an exception, but as long as apartment complexes continue to include thin walls, poor insulation, and shared ventilation,something must be done.

    Kudos to California for continually leading the way on environmental health issues. If only New Mexico was not 20 years behind the times. We tried to get out of our lease early, citing health concerns, but to no avail. Maybe if it happens again, thanks to people like Mr. Goodrich and other Californians, we will find someone here who will recognize that it is a basic human right to breathe clean air in your own home. I just hope it does not take 20 years.

  112. It's about time! There's nothing worse than awakening to the smell of smoke coming from the apartment below, or entering the hallway to the same stink..or walking out onto my balcony where butts have landed from the balcony above.

    I am NOT an ex-smoker. I tried it once in high school, then promptly barfed. IT IS A DISGUSTING HABIT that impinges on the rights of others who choose to inhale clean air (or what's not yet otherwise polluted).

    Why these laws are even controversial is beyond reason.

  113. Next : No alcohol use , no cooking of red meat in kitchen , no wearing of animal fur indoors , no mouse traps , no garlic eating.

  114. It is one of those sad things all over that people never seem to learn how to think for themselves - but also for others. Non-smokers claim that smokers don't - but can they themselves have any respect for others, those who are "different"?

    Maybe they can, but there are always some others around who think they are "better", they are "right". And they won’t tolerate any doubt about that. The motto is “zero tolerance”. And it shows. For, there is power in it – but not much convincing.

    And so, there is more smoke more than the year before – which does not surprise me: we had this young woman from Sidney in one of our Philosophy Café sessions, who hadn’t smoked for the first 25 years of her life – but did so now. Why? - Resentment. Anger. Defiance against her “self-appointed nannies”.

    If I wish to help someone – I do not batter them into submission. I talk, I advise, I am a friend – not enemy. That is the problem with all these “zero” ideologies: they mostly reveal what would, in the psychology of the 60ies/70ies be termed an underlying “authoritarian personality”, an urge to find a way out of one’s own feeling of powerlessness by exercising domination over others.

    The present-day anti-smoking had, ater all, its start in the research called for by the "ever so tolerant" Adolph H from Braunau on Inn - non-smoker, non-drinker, non-......, vegetarian in everything. I wished he hadn't been - and so should millions.

    Such "empowering" may be self-rewarding in a way – but it is a) self-defeating, and b) dangerous.

    We are still “culturing” such attitudes: “Increase the penalty!” “Hang ‘em higher!” As if that ever convinced anyone. Instead, it will create harshness, bitterness – simply: a lack of relaxing. And if people are kept in hightened tension without a relief – we might even have to look at increases in violent behaviour. So, our present policies are not domestically nor publicly helpful.

    A good policy would be a positive one. Really positive – not just “pretending: we want to help you”, but doing it – with understanding, tolerance, positive approaches, carried forward with honesty – not as disguised weapons.

    What anyone in need needs is good advice, friendship, a positive view – not brutality and totalitarianism. In the casementioned here: Why not consult everybody, organise and move smokers to one wing - non-smokers to the other. But I had an experience that kept me smoking for decades: in 1983, I was boarding a Jumbo from Boston to London, and hardly had we taken off, it turned out that a handful of radical anti-smokers hd placed themselves strategically all over the smoking area and demanded non-smoking: the captain had to grant it - by law. That is not health-concern. It's domination. And that is wrong.

    Dr. J. Boost

  115. It certainly seems that in general, a smokers attitude, especially those who are over 50, have a stunning disregard for others. Their talk of "personal rights" is the epitome of selfishness. Given that most started smoking as teenagers to look more mature and grown-up, they're acting more and more like petulant children.

  116. I think the idea of banning smoking in apartment building has merit. However, that should be placed on new structures.

    where there has never been any smoke, where the residents moving in choose this life style. this complex has been this way when the residents moved in. The smokers were there and all the things they are now complaining about were a possablity then.

    if their life style changed they should move. i am a reformed smoker and would never consider moving into a smokers apt. however, as much as i hate smoking a "home is your castle" non smokers go find your castle!

  117. The smokers here are outraged their intrusive habit is disturbing other people to the point the nonsmokers have to take legal action.

    The nonsmokers who are affected by the odor and effects of cigarettes are saying GO BELMONT.

    The ballot box may once again decide an issue important to many.

    In the meantime, smokers may do well to airtight seal their apartments so none of their smoke escapes and they can enjoy its full experience.

  118. A smoker can smoke his or her way through life if he or she wishes, but I also have the right to wake up in a smoke-free apartment. Unfortunately I am highly sensitive to the smell of smoke and have lived in many apartments in which the odor wafts through the heating and ventilation system into my place.

  119. When will they ban burning the toast? Will that be a $500 fine? I do not see apartment dwellers getting tickets when a fire starts in their units. Is the distinction because the two examples are accidents while smoking is intentional conduct? Was it not intentional conduct that the building designers built those California apartment buildings like a sieve so that smoke easily passess from unit to unit? Smokers are just an easy and popular target, certainly more so than the people who lobbied for the building code or your neighbor who burned the toast yesterday morning.

    There is an unwritten contract between tenants of mutiple dwellings that they agree to tolerate the habits of their neighbors more so than if they live in a private dwelling. If you expect not to be bothered by your neighbor, move very far away from them. There is some wonderful cheap private housing available in western North Dakota where I can assure you that you will not be bothered by your neighbor. People live in apartment buildings by choice. Then they want to enforce their views on their neighbors. Outrageous.

  120. To the dullards comparing this smoking ban to a ban on fatty foods (that they imagine will happen in the future): Hello? Fatty foods hurt only the person eating them. My thighs aren't in danger of secondhand fat.

    The two aren't even a little analogous. The reason for the ban isn't to stop smokers from doing something harmful to THEMSELVES, it's to stop them from harming OTHERS.

    Nonsmokers have a right to clean air, period.

  121. Funny thing about democracy, 50% plus 1 of us can trample the rights of 50% minus 1. Empathy is almost non existent in the non smoking population. "Knock 'em down and kick 'em again" seems to be the battle cry of their effort.

    A better law would have been to demand builders to insure that each apartment have a separate and distinct AC system so that every tenant could be secure and free in their own home.

    Personal freedom doesn't seem to matter much in Silicon Valley, and that noxious odor we're smelling isn't smoke, it's the odor of decay from the corpse of our sense of live and let live.

  122. One question, Who is better off, a smoker who lives in clean air like Martha's Vineyard or a non smoker who lives in Los Angles.

  123. I can smell my neighbor's smoke as I'm lying in bed in the morning.

    It's gross!

    I say "bravo"! When can we get that here in NYC?

  124. This problem might solve itself over the long run. The residents of the retirement community are from a generation where smoking was still the norm - as it no longer is. And as a line in the article pointed out -statistically seen, smokers die earlier than non-smokers.
    As a non-smoker who grew up with two smoking parents, I can well understand the frustration of those subjected to the stench and discomfort of second-hand smoke. I've met smokers who understand the problem and are considerate. Most younger smokers I've met understand that smoking bothers a lot of the people around them. The older ones, who grew up in an era where smoking was socially accepted and desirable, sometimes have trouble adjusting to the fact that society has changed, and smoking is no longer a sign of freedom, being cool, or whatever else it used to be. It's become a treacherous form of body odor.