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: 54

  1. Great! Illinois' law kicking cigarettes out of restaurants and bars effectively kicked my social smoking habit. Sure, smokers with a few decades on a few packs a day will scream at measures like these. But thanks to those measures, the next generation won't even get the opportunity to get so entrenched.

  2. The thought/"my way is better than yours" police are in full force, and their ilk are multiplying. The end result of these insidious efforts will be frightening for all of us. They're now going after "obese" people in New York with a proposed tax on sodas (that aren't diet). It doesn't matter that I like real Coca-Cola, don't want chemicals used in diet sodas in my system, and am not obese, I will have to pay the tax. Why don't people understand that if you can get government to take away another's rights, they can get government to take away yours?

  3. How about third-hand smoke? We haven't even begun to talk about that. The toxic remnants that stick to the wall and clothes are pretty bad for you too, and I suspect would those carcinogens, found elsewhere in the environment, would have all the smokers screaming for protection. I don't know why anyone should put up with someone knowingly, and for no benefit to society, spewing toxins around their living space. At least cars serve some purpose, to answer the posts regarding automobile restrictions (which actually would not be a bad thing to institute, given the known relationship of diesel exhaust and lung problems).

    The European Union has some tough environmental restrictions, and I'm sure Mrs Fredrickson can find solace in that, if she ever decides to pack up and move back. It would behoove her to leave the country before she becomes a financial drain on the rest of us, as she will quite likely have some really nasty complication from smoking fairly soon. I would hate to see her use up some portion of the economic stimulus package that could go to better use, such as educating a rug rat or two.

  4. And she lives in government subsidized housing yets wants to continue her addiction unfettered...this is not a "nanny state issue"..we all must breathe the same air....eating, drinking, those instances you are only killing yourself-but ultimately taxpayers must pay for the behaviors of all these self indulgent people...I am over it...if you want to do things that are killing not ask me to have to live with the effects of your various addictions-whether its breathing it or paying for it...

  5. Second hand smoke caused me to move from my apartment in Portland, Oregon last year. 60% of the apartments in the Portland/ Vancouver, WA area are infiltrated with second hand smoke. This probably reflects the country as a whole. I think a simple, good, solution would be to have different buildings for smokers and non smokers.

  6. Smoking is a terrible addiction. Perhaps the bans on smoking in public and shared spaces will have the added benefit of discouraging people from starting to smoke in the first place, and encouraging those who do smoke to quit. Twenty years ago, my father finally was able to quit smoking after 35 years or so, after the building where he worked (on the 20th floor) banned smoking. He says he never would have been able to quit if he hadn't been forced to cut back on smoking and it hadn't been so difficult for him to continue to smoke. Unfortunately, my mother-in-law was not able to quit smoking after repeated attempts and much encouragement from her family. She contracted lung cancer at age 59, which led to her agonizing and premature death last year.

  7. "Smoking in ones own home isn't harming anyone but the smoker themselves."

    See? Smoking causes ignorance.

  8. It's an apartment complex. If people were more aware of all the rules of an apartment complex, everyone would cry socialism. What about leaving smelly garbage outside your door? Is that a problem with smokers? There are fines for a dog pooping in the grass. Do smokers have a problem with that? Probably not, since they never go outside and exercise. Smoking is banned from most college dorms; is that socialism, too?

    I don't understand why smokers don't have a problem with causing discomfort to other people, but they complain about any inconvenience to them. That's why they have an addiction.

    The moment government steps onto private property, I'll be right there fighting for a smokers rights to smoke on private property. Otherwise, if you live on other person's property, you have to live by the others person's rules.

  9. And then they came for me…

    I have noticed several likely B. Hussein Obama supporters have commented here that they are worried about "nanny state" encroachment on our freedoms. Now you're worried about it? Now you are worried about it? This is the tip of the melting iceberg.

    Don't you get it? It is going to get much, much worse. Soon you will be effectively told what you can drive (see new CA emissions’), how much energy you can use (remotely controlled thermostats), what you can eat (universal health care policy/police), what you can do with your property (eminent domain), how much money you can obtain (at least until you have enough to pay off the politicians). All this is done in the name of "fairness", the “greater good", and the canard of anthropogenic global (warming/cooling/whatever).

    And you were worried about some wire taps directed at terrorism eroding your freedom. Turns out, B. Hussein is keeping that too. Suckers!

    Do you understand that Prohibition was a Progressive policy?

    None of these efforts to control your lives are being made by true libertarians/conservatives.

    Thanks a lot for the change, so much for the hope.

  10. For all those who claim that this is the beginning of a "communist" regime, let us be reminded that the law was the result of citizen petitioning. This is very much a part of the democratic process -- the ability for citizens to raise issues without repercussions, for counterarguments to be heard fairly, for ample deliberation before laws are enacted. I do not believe in a true tyrannical, nanny, communist state citizens have the ability to bring to law issues that concern them. Whether you like the outcome or not, the case of Belmont was one of successful citizen activism, a hallmark of democracy.

  11. Smoking bans are kind of funny considering big business practices.

    For practical reasons, I agree it should be banned. I am allergic to cigarette smoke, my stomach starts to hurt, my eyes burn, my nose get stopped up, my head starts feeling immediate pressure, and I hate the way my clothes smell when around smokers.

    Being in my apartment and having to worry about someone making me feel ANY of these symptons in the comfort of my home warrants action...either stop or I'm hitting you with spray from my fire extinguisher. there.

  12. When I was five years old and in kindergarten, I drew a series of pictures showing all the rooms in my family's house. My teacher commented on my attention to detail as I had drawn in an ashtray with a smoking cigarette in each drawing. Of our family of four, three were smokers, three developed smoking-related cancer, and two are dead, the third lives having survived two bouts of cancer. The bad smell is the least of the problems, but still an important one. Addicts cannot think coherently about their addictions, and often resort to hysterical justifications for their actions. To the day she died, my mother said she smoked because she enjoyed it. No way,she was hooked. And all those cigarettes smoking away in ashtrays in every single room in the house fouled the air, our clothes, our furniture, our books, and even the mail.

  13. I have spent weeks caulking and sealing at least two different apartments I have lived in, because of smokers living downstairs. It worked, too.

    As far as I'm concerned, if someone wants to engage in a foul, dangerous habit with no redeeming social benfits, the effects of which tend to seep through cracks and poison the innocent, such as smoking, then the smoker should be required to seal up his apartment's connections to its neighbors completely, and prove it is sealed, before being allowed to smoke there. Then he can smoke until he runs out of oxygen, as far as I'm concerned.

    As the saying goes, your right to swing your fist ends at the tip of my nose. Similarly, your right to befoul the air ends where that air enters my nose.

  14. Although it was nearly three decades ago, it seems like yesterday that I suffered for years -- felt tired all the time -- as a working person, because the offices I worked in invariably had one or more chain smokers. One didn't and I discovered felt well and energetic for the first time in years. I was sensitive to smoke, whether from cigarettes or a wood stove.

    Growing up in the 1960's, for a few years, my father smoked cigars, with no regard for my health at all. Fortunately, he would only smoke a few a day but even so, it was terrible for me. I had no rights. I was a kid in a world with lots of adult smokers. In the college I attended at least 10 percent of the students smoked, perhaps higher.

    These people who are comparing it to eating fat, or candy, are missing a point so obvious, that they must be brain damaged from smoking. That is, when other people eat fat, or candy, it doesn't enter the air space of others and make them sick. Smoke does that to a lot of people. The dull headache, the fatigue, the catch in the lung.

    As people get older, they become even more sensitive to air quality. Passive smoke bothers lots of people and isn't just annoying because of the smell, or the issue of lung cancer, the latter which is bad enough on its own. Some smokers still can't get over the idea that they are addicts, who bought into the glamor and high of smoking. They are self destructive on a certain level, and a increasingly small percentage of smokers have little concern for the health of others.

    So, yes, smokers, you are going to suffer restrictions that seem harsh or unfair to you. That is your penance for your years of blatant disregard for the well being of everyone around you.

  15. Put smokers on an island in the middle of the Atlantic. No, you will not be missed.

  16. Freedom? Democracy? Two (or more) Party System? Free Market Capitalism? It's all an illusion.

    It's always been an illusion. A fairytale fed to the masses like a John Wayne movie to keep them in line. The illusion worked as long as it was "comfortable" to keep it up. Now the times have become "uncomfortable and "The Owners," as George Carlin called, them are pulling out the whip. The only thing that hasn't happened yet is revolt followed by Martial Law, which, by the way, the President has the power to declare any time he wants.

    The United States was set up when there were 50,000 people and unlimited frontier. If you didn't like what was happening you just picked up and moved west. Individual freedom was a given then. The dream ended in porportion to the closing of that frontier and the reality that controls had to be set. The most powerful (nee monied) set the controls to their needs.

  17. I think banning smoking in apartment complexes is a great idea, the second-hand smoke exposure aside. Many apartment complexes ban candles as a fire hazard. Candles are legal to buy and own, but I haven't heard anyone crying about candle-owner's rights being trampled because of some awful nanny state. There are all sorts of things you can't do in apartments compared to stand-alone houses. Not to mention that this is not a group of private, independently-owned residences. It is a government-subsidized low-income retirement complex. If you want to pull out all the "my home, my freedom" arguments, maybe you should buy your own home. There are a lot of comments claiming that these smoking bans in community buildings are 'communist.' On the contrary, I believe that expecting all the same choices and freedoms regardless of your ability to pay for them is communist. If government(public) money enables you to live in your apartment, it seems to me the public has a few rights when it comes to setting rules. If you want to smoke, buy your own house. If you can't, suck it up and go outside. You live in California. The weather is fine. Go complain to the elderly Canadians with smoking bans, and see how much sympathy you get.

    It's the government's job to protect citizens from other citizens. Many of our laws are based on this idea. Smoking in bed is a well-known cause of house fires, and depending on which study you look at, a significant number of smokers admit to lighting up under the covers at least occasionally. Smoking in an apartment complex is a fire hazard and a serious risk to the lives everyone in the building. This is particularly the case in a retirement home, where elderly residents might be even more prone to forgetting about or dozing off with a lit cigarette. The story highlights a fire that has already occurred because of a lit cigarette and an oxygen tank. Isn't this enough? The regulation is completely appropriate.

  18. One day the earth tilted and all the fruits and nuts fell to the west coast.

  19. For the past 3 years I have lived in a new, similar-type apartment building where (supposedly) no one has ever smoked since it was built. Obeying the rule is easy for me because I quit smoking more than 40 years ago, or I probably wouldn't still be around. Somehow I've never missed the two brown fingers, the tiny holes in my clothes from stray ashes, or the incessant coughing. Now I can smell heavy smokers a supermarket aisle away, and at 74 I'm still walking around without an oxygen tank.

    In our building there's also less risk of fire. I don't have much sympathy for addicts, and that's what smokers are. At today's cigarette prices, I don't see how most retirees can afford to smoke. When I quit, my two packs a day were costing me almost $2, and that was too much for me to spend on giving myself lung cancer.

  20. Smoking should be banned everywhere....allowing the smokers to smoke outdoors does not keep the smoke from entering the buildings. According to the Fresno Bee's historic "Oh Gasp" issue in December of 2002, 80% of outdoor air gets inside. And this does not only affect apartment dwellers, second hand smoke affects neighbors in cities where they inhabit single family homes. Case in point is our neighborhood. The second hand smoke from the 5 to 8 people having their smoking parties next door to us drifts into our yard, gets caught under the patio cover, and in our inversion layer, the smoke stays there. It also drifts heavily into our garage where our laundry is, forcing us to do laundry at 4 am when the smokers go elsewhere. The smoke hits us when we get out of our car, close our gate, and forces us to keep our windows and doors shut. I have forwarded to my city official, all of the NYT articles on my rights to have a smoke free property. This was done over 14 months ago. I was promised a reply after the attorney for the Fresno looked at it.....I have never gotten that reply even after followup requests. In the meantime, my husband and I are getting sick from the second hand smoke.....headaches....asthma etc. After this problem started, we listed our home twice in an attempt to escape. Our house did not sell. With the downturn in the economy, we are stuck here....forced to breath the second hand smoke which is more dangerous than previously reported. If we really want to lesson health care costs, we as a nation need to implement the practices and principles behind New York City's success in reducing smoking.....and we need to ban it outdoors as well as in apartments and condos. This should be a nation wide effort and one the president needs to push with all the mayors and governors.

  21. Smoking is premeditated suicide and murder. As an oncologist and blood disorder physician for the past 25 years I can verify this is true. How long it takes varies from person to person. It is the filthiest habit one can abuse themself, their children, their neighbors with. The human body is sacred and should not be defiled by ignorant selfish people.

  22. Sorry but you're living in an apartment. This means you are subjected to your neighbor's bad habits. Whether it be cooking foul smelling food, barking dogs, loud music, smoking, keeping large amounts of cats, hygiene issues,loud sex, late night/early morning schedules. It's the nature of the game. I agree that smelling others smoke is disgusting but banning things that make us uncomfortable leads us down a dangerous path. Next target drinkers and obese. Then handicapped and mentally challenged. Then elderly and invalid. Then people with weird haricuts and tatoos. Then short people and so on. Privacy in your home is more important than not having to smell smoke. Lots of things in the air that are bad for us. Sorry. Big Picture only please.

  23. Great article about the nuisance of second hand smoke. This article was not about car exhaust or cheeseburgers. The lady in the article took offense to the law. The problem is not about her cigarettes or her personally but, about her sharing her cigarette smoke. Time to quite or except the retrictions of a lifestyle choice.

  24. It is puzzling that so many smokers are inconsiderate and selfish when it's about their "right" to smoke. I don't care what anyone does to their own health but do it without hurting others! What's so hard to understand??

    I live in an (expensive) rented loft and sometimes I can smell cigarette smoke coming through the AC. My landlord says smoking is not prohibited inside people's places. Should anyone know about a law or health organization in New Jersey to address such issues I'd be grateful for any recommendations!

  25. You cannot have it both ways. You cannot benefit from the tax revenue you impose on smokers and then expect them to take their "filthy habit" somewhere else.

    Additionally, if smokers lives are "cut short" due to their habit, where is the additional health care expense. If I live to be 70 and smoke, or 90 and not smoke, which will end up costing the health care system more?

    Smoking and cigarettes are a legal, taxed commodity. Framing the debate in health terms allows that when fatty foods are found unhealthy, they will be banned also. Sugary sodas, gone. French fries? No longer available. It's for our own good.

  26. There is a wide variety of dangerous things that are legal but have to be done in such a way that they can't harm others. Just because smoking is something "everybody" does, and that we are used to being legal and unregulated until relatively recently, doesn't mean it should go on that way.

    For those who suggest that this is a sign of a "nanny state" in the making, I would remind you that our government already prohibits a wide variety of personal behaviors outright, such as smoking marijuana, drinking raw milk, and even - depending on what state you live in - using sex toys, which your neighbors probably will never know about. Don't look for coherence in the law.

  27. Clean air was a right before smoking was. Smokers can live without tobacco, but NOBODY can live without air! Revoking the right to smoke is less about revoking a right than restoring the non-smoking majority's ORIGINAL right to clean air.

    Kudos to Belmont for PROMOTING everyone's rights!

  28. Bravo Mr. Goodrich!

    I live in a multi-unit condo complex and for two years my neighbors and I lived with secondhand smoke coming into our units from the neighbor below. A friend with parents who smoked once commented that it was like I had a four-pack-a-day habit. (Not the best situation for an ashthmatic.)

    To my neighbor's credit, he didn't know that we all shared the same ventilation system. Once he was made aware, he smoked with his windows open and avoided smoking in completely enclosed rooms. But relief only came when he moved out.

    The irony is that my neighbor worked in tobacco promotion for Phillip Morris in New York City, where, he told me, he couldn't smoke inside during the day because of the city's anti-smoking laws. So, instead, he looked forward to coming home and smoking all night long.

  29. Since the smokers are at fault, though engaging in a legal activity, move the smokers into segregated apartment buildings where they affect each other, not nonsmokers. Since a significant percentage of Americans still smoke, those apartment buildings will not lack for residents.

    As for those of you who want to criminalize smoking due to its cost to health care, be consistent: you need to also criminalize alcohol. The harms it causes to society are as significant as harms caused by tobacco, and in many cases, the harms are much more immediate. People who drive drunk maim and kill others. People who go to work drunk cost us all money and cause on the job accidents. People who drink heavily suffer from a multitude of alcohol related diseases. People who drink are more likely to be involved in domestic violence, date rape, and other forms of violence.

    Another "drug" that's costing us a fortune due to our almost universal addiction to it is refined sugar. We have an epidemic of diabetes and obesity on our hands, both directly connected to our ridiculously high level of consumption of refined sugar. Stack those health care costs up against tobacco and alcohol. Ironically, the less we smoke, the more we weigh.

    Want those of us who smoke to give it up? Propose criminalizing both tobacco and alcohol, and then I'll think about it. I'm perfectly willing to restrict my smoking to outdoors and my private spaces. I'll even step downwind. But last week I stepped outside the airport in Minneapolis to smoke in subzero temperatures. Anti-smoking zealots want to protect my health long term but have no problem at all about endangering it short term. A lot of them drink, too, and are overweight due to their addiction to sugar. I'm disgusted with "My bad habit is OK, but yours needs to be illegal."

  30. MichaelF, Yonkers of the great commentary: "I can't help wondering if the same nanny state adherents who complain about the extra health care cost for smokers would do the same for extra health care costs for homosexual men, who stand a far greater chance of developing aids than hetrosexual men".

    Oh my! And all this time I've been led to believe that its getting infected with HIV virus that causes you to develop AIDS, not whether you are homosexual or heterosexual, or a man.

    And yes, I would agree with those extra health care cost. See, exposure to the HIV virus is most often not chosen voluntarily, as is the health risks chosen by smokres, but mainly via an activity that, granted, is somewhat addictive but also rather essential. Overall, you seem to imply that a gay man getting infected with HIV is in some ways less worthy of medical treatment than his straight equivalent. Would this have to do with the specific practices that carries the risk of infection? Speaking of freedom, are these not allowed in home of gay people? Or are you among the people thinking that gay sex causes HIV in and of itself?

    Furthermore, in absolute numbers, HIV positive heterosexual people in the world vastly outnumber gay men with AIDS.

    Anyways, good to know that there are still some raging homophobes out there...

  31. Those health Nazi-nannies BETTER not come after my food; it's my right to eat what I want.

    Man, I love my cheeseburgers -- the greasier the better -- I probably eat six or seven every day. In fact, I love them so much that I'm going to break little pieces off as I eat them and force feed them to everyone around me.

    Do I care that you're hypertensive, have heart disease, or are diabetic? No way. You're going to eat my burger bits, because as I said, it's my right and I'm going to share whether you like it or not.

  32. The Temperance Movement reborn, huh? Hello, Carrie Nation!

    In terms of health, the public health threat resulting from cigarette smoke is really negligible, when compared to the toxins we consume from the foods we eat; the cheap, synthetic building materials we use to build our homes; the industrial wastes buried in our backyards; and most importantly (as others here have acknowledged) the automobiles a majority of the US populace chooses to drive.

    Cigarette smokers are simply scapegoats for the self-righteous asses who are ultimately interested in controlling the behavior of others. It's those who believe that self-control, self-discipline, and an ascetic life are virtuous. Those that disagree are seen as gluttons.

    Let us not forget, prior to the prohibition of alcohol, women and liberals manipulated science and statistics to claim that alcohol was killing people and the root of all social evils. In the early 1970s, "scientists" told us LSD use resulted in chromosomal aberrations. Untrue. In the 1980s, we heard about all the mutated cocaine babies being born. Wrong again.

  33. This is so ridiculous. In the same edition of THE TIMES, there is an article that Detroit cannot comply with safe auto emissions. That is far more dangerous than a few residents smoking in their own homes. Maybe these busybodies who worked to take away those residents' rights should stop tilting at windmills and fight the real dragons of air pollution.

  34. This comment is not directly to the issue of "smoker" or "non-smoker" rights. In Minnesota, we've have bans on smoking in bars and such. I still have mixed feelings on that.

    My comment is to second-hand smoke and any possible health risks. I was a smoker for 37, 38 years. I quit in September of 2008. I am having bypass surgery on my left leg this coming Wednesday. I have numbness in the right foot and both hands. I have not had a study done, but I am very certain my smoking contributed to my current condition. I have possible genetic "weaknesses" for vascular problems, and without smoking I might have made it another decade or two or even three without these problems. Perhaps they never would have happened. But, as I said and I repeat, smoking had something to do with this.

    So, did my second-hand smoke contribute to some other non-smoking person's health problems? I think possibly, probably. I think the evidence is correct that exposure over time is bad news. How much exposure over what time period, hard to say. Maybe we should err on safety's side on such a small thing. I know I groused when people moved me around when I smoked, and felt like I was picked on. I know people cry about civil liberties. I do think that in smoking's case, the public health concerns supercede.

    Just opinion from a former smoker who still likes the smell but wishes I hadn't.

  35. The logic of the whole War on Tobacco goes something like this: tobacco usage is unnecessary, pollutes the air, is dangerous to human health, and thus, should be outlawed.

    Let's try the exact same logic, but this time substituting a different pollution culprit: recreational driving is unnecessary, pollutes the air, is dangerous to human health, and thus, should be outlawed.

    I walk and use the bus, and yet have to suffer motorists' highly toxic car exhaust. I guess I should follow the anti-tobacco crusader's lead and start a petition to ban driving.

  36. My, my, my. Cranky, aren't we? That goes for both "sides," if one can call them that.

    Debate at all means, but use correct forms of argument. So much of what I see here is false points being put forth as logically true and then intermixed with a good dollop of emotion to confuse things even more. Again, that's the "nanny state is coming" people as well as the "smokers are satan's minions" types.


    Oh, why bother. I guess this commentary is supposed to be entertainment after all, not so? Sort of like watching the South Korean representatives "debate." Or WWE. Similar, not so?

  37. “They’re telling you how to live and what to do, and they’re doing it right here in America.” This comment shows that the speaker misses the point. This is indeed about free choice, but it is about my ability to choose whether or not to inhale second-hand smoke. It is not about her freedom to subject me to secondhand smoke when I do not have a choice in the matter. While we're at it, could we please legislate that smoking floors in hotels must be on the top floors so they are not beneath non-smoking floors?

  38. I'm a vegetarian. The cooking smells, mostly of meat, from my downstairs neighbor's kitchen permeate my apartment in the evenings and nauseate me. Should I demand she not be allowed to cook meat?

  39. Excellent. I was forced to move once because I could not legally prevent my "neighbor" from poisoning my air.

    I didn't care if some clown wanted to destroy his health, but he had no right to include me in his lunacy.

  40. I would just smoke in my apartment anyway.

    Then if someone knocks on my door to ask if I've been smoking, just say "no". If they point out that I have lingering smoke inside to disprove me, I'd simply blame it on some guy that was probably passing outside. To prove I'm smoking, they would have to bust my door down with a search warrant.

  41. I have to disagree with those readers who say that smoking in an apartment building or walk-up does not harm anyone but the smoker. I live on the top floor of a four-storey walk-up. Smokers live on the second and third levels. The cigarette smoke floats through our radiators and the halls and as a result my clothes reek of cigarette smoke, and every morning when I brush my teeth I notice small grey particles in my spit in the sink. Those particles (I can only suspect they come from the radiator beside my bed and land in my mouth and lungs while I'm sleeping) do not appear when I sleep elsewhere. I also sneeze more frequently when I'm relaxing at home.

    I feel I am being poisoned by a substance that I am involuntarily inhalling.

    I respect an individual's choice to smoke, but when it affects my life and lungs, I am compelled to act defensively. My neighbors should really have to smoke on the stoop, out a window or on the fire escape.

    It is indisputable that smoking is harmful to one's health. Why does my neighbor's choice to test their fate become my fate as well?

  42. Great ob Mr Goodrich! Why should anybody have to put up with the filthy odour of second hand smoke from tobacco, pr any other weed for that matter. Let this old girl smoke outside where the wind will disburse her odious fumes.

  43. This is an intriguing topic. How do you balance one's right to choose what substances they intake against the effects it has on those around them. I lived in an apartment complex where cigarette smoke permeated our apartment very heavily. We did run an expensive air filter and upgraded the weather stripping on the doors, but it was not enough. Everything we owned smelled like cigarette smoke. Unfortunately, it had a pretty big impact on my health (asthma/allergies). We moved to another apartment complex with fewer units per building and we have almost no smoke in our new apartment. This made me wonder - what if the law said apartments must separate smoking/non-smoking buildings. Those who wish to have a smoke free home (for personal or medical reasons) could enjoy fresher air and those who wish to smoke could do so without adversely affecting others as much. Perhaps that would be a beneficial compromise.

    One argument that keeps cropping up in this discussion is that banning smoking is like banning fatty food. I don't believe it is a fair or accurate comparison. If I choose to eat unhealthy food, it makes me fat, but it does not make other people fat. My choice only affects me. If I were to smoke, however, and the smoke drifts to someone else's home, my choice now affects someone else. We have laws that restrict drunk driving for the same principle - people's decision to drink harms mostly themselves - until they start to drive. Once a person starts driving drunk, the choice could adversely affect the safety of other people on or near the road.

    I think some of the principles behind this law have merit in the sense of limiting how much a person choosing to smoke can affect the health of others.

  44. Real Progress = an expansion of rights, not a revocation of them!

    Modern ventilation would the KEY to respecting everyone's rights! But the extraordinarily well funded anti-tobacco LOBBY will have NONE of it! (It's "their way or the highway" because nothing short of arm-twisting smokers to quit will do!)

    Moreover, Tobacco Control would be practically NON-EXISTENT were it not for the "sin taxes" it has garnered by means of relentlessly picking smokers' pockets under the illegal Master Settlement Agreement ... in the false name of "righteousness."

    ETS hysteria has been ignited by statistical lies that continue to be relentlessly promulgated, even though a U.S. District Court had adjudicated in 1993, that the scientific "facts" on ETS had been "cherry picked" to fit the agenda. (And BTW, there really is "no safe level" of auto exhaust!)

    While I gag on my neighbors' DRYER sheets, Plug-In air fresheners, and scented candles, what shred of privacy is still left to me in my use of legal tobacco products, should now subject me to eviction??

    Despite the public flogging, the onerous taxes (with precious little "representation" at gov't), still 20% of your family, friends and neighbors CHOOSE to smoke! Further forced segregation is NOT the answer!


    Or your own "guilty liberties" will be next!


  45. It's not about a "nanny state." It's about liberty versus license. Americans have liberty in that a smoker has the right to smoke and give themselves cancer. But that doesn't give one unlimited license to inflict their dirty smoke onto everyone around them. A smoker's right to smoke stops at another's right to breathe clean, smoke-free air.

  46. For heaven's sakes, are there still people who smoke in California?? What are they waiting for? Quit already! Maybe there should be a movement to show smokers what their lungs actually look like. Seriously, people think they are smoking in their own homes, but they are sharing walls and air-space with non-smokers, and have no right to poison their air.

  47. As a smoker, I try to respect non-smoker's rights even to the extint of not smoking in my own home when non-smoker's are visiting. I think there is only one solution to the arguments presented. I think growing tobacco should be outlawed within the US and imports of all tobacco products stopped. Smoking should be make illegal. Obviously this would require all smokers to quit. The government or the tobacco industry would be required to pay for any medications to wean "us smokers" off the nicotene.

    However, when this happens, I think all alcohol products should also be outlawed from being made, imported or consumed within the US. People do not have the right to drink and drive putting others in vehicles at risk of death or debilitating injuries. I should also not have to tolerate people at sporting events that consume beyond the legal limits and then start fights, have alcoholic seizures or puke around me.

    Let's also legally require automotive companies to develop cars and trucks that do not produce toxic exhaust and owner's, especially companies that own diesel trucks to maintain those exhaust systems. Let's more strictly enforce pollution laws already passed in regards to manufacturering.

    Only when we accomplish these things will air really become more clean and our roads more safe.

  48. I would like to see strict regulations on coffee, popcorn, colognes, scented markers, perfumes and more. I think they stink.

    When will I see legislation restricting the use of these legal items? I am offended when someone breathes coffee smells in my face when they are talking to me. I've had perfume-wearing people cross my path and their offending scents tighten my throat and make my eyes and nose sting. I think popcorn smells like a dirty diaper. Isn't there a legislative branch at the local, state or national level that is looking out for my safety related to these substances?

  49. Smokers sometimes try to cover up the smell with commercial air fresheners. I could not begin to tell you how infinitely foul the combination of smoke smell and artificial scent of synthetic chemicals is. Air freshener is just as bad for health, and the environment. One evil begets another, and another. Better not to have the first one to get the whole chain started.

  50. Although I personally never smoke indoors and try very hard to respect the wishes of non-smokers, I do think we're coming very close to an anti-smoking fascism in this country. Why isn't there the same uproar over obesity, which is a direct cause of the health problems that are raising the costs of healthcare for all of us, which makes it impossible for people to afford the preventive healthcare needed to nip so many conditions in the bud? -- It's a huge second-hand obesity-related health risk, but can anyone imagine the City of Boulder saying, "Sorry, you can't live in our community because you're fat" ?!

  51. 1984????? Let's ban autos, fried foods, flatulence, perfume, loud voices and loud music. He complains about secondary smoke, then starts his car to go to the doctor - but not one word or cpmcerm about the exhaust being 1,000,000 times more polluting. It is easier to remove a speck of dust than a boulder, especially if the boulder is yours.

  52. This is a sticky problem but... it is by now long standing public policy throughout the country that smoking is forbidden and/or staunchly segregated in public facilities. The vast majority not only accepts but encourages this reality since the more mature among us have learned about comforts as well as feasibilities of smoke-free environments in recent years and our younger cohorts have grown up demanding nothing less.

    Among reasonably intelligent folks who are even moderately informed, few will argue against government rules to protect property and patrons of public facilities. If the article is correct about this apt complex, it qualifies as a public facility because it is subsidized by government agency. Once this horse (second hand smoke) was out of the barn, the conclusion was predictable. Not much chance the Town would make owners rebuild to eliminate cross-pollution between units!

    Being one who smoked cigarettes and cigars for most of my high stress professional and hard partying social life, I have my sympathies for wayward pleasures. But, I also know that cigarette smoke is medically harmful to many people and is repugnant to any one with a decent olfactory function! We may have the right to choose our own poison but not to foist our choice on others.

  53. Ah yes, California, where one can gaze at wonder at the big Hollywood sign at dusk, depending on where you are standing and from how far away, not always very clear because of the veil of brownish-yellowish smog that gives the very air a urine like hue due to man-made pollution whose contents cannot be very healthy to breathe in. Why can't we take this idea of healthy air that everyone has a right to breathe and direct it at manufacturers that expel into the air probably a thousand times the offensive pollutants in ten minutes than an average smoker does in their entire lifetime? Automobiles, that everyone drive, give off just as deadly fumes, yet we are content with their passing. I don't get the outcry or the demonization against smokers. Is it just the fact we can pick them out and point our fingers and say "YES, YOU ARE THE PROBLEM!" Is there some sense of power within certain people who think to themselves, "AH-HA! Here's something I can ACTUALLY change," while the larger problems go unabated?

    I'm not a smoker and my quality of life hasn't been destroyed utterly by the fact that people in my proximity sometimes do smoke. I'm not so self-important to think that my very existence is dependant on a few puffs from a cigarette or the fumes from a smoking section floating idlely by my nose.

    It should be up to the folks that own the apartment complex whether they want to allow smoking or not. If they do, than tenants will have to deal with it or move somewhere else. If they don't, same goes with the smokers. When government gets involved and starts handing out bills and bans you eliminate the choice completely, and a little freedom, maybe not shared by everyone, but a freedom nontheless, is lost.

  54. Shared ventilation systems are a challenge to all involved; both the generator of odors and the receivers.

    In this respect it is easy to pick on smoking because it appears that there is a potential medical issue with second hand smoke.

    I used to smoke on planes, (sometimes restricted to the rear two rows of seats) but I accepted the ban when I realised there was only so much air on board the plane and everyone shared it.

    "Civilised" airports, with a reasonable understanding of its smoking orientated customers, have created special smoking rooms with its own ventilation system.

    I would sugggest that before introducing tha ban a smokers room should have been provided with separate ventilation to avoid others sharing the smoke. As for cost there could be a surcharge for room maintenance etc. fan filter cleaning etc.

    This still punishes the smoker with extra cost but it may be more desirable than forcing them to leave or atch cold be trekking out of the building for a smoke, especialy if they are handicapped also.

    One other thing I am concerned with is the possibility of the shared space onboard a plane being invaded with audible cellphone activity. I do not want to hear other peoples private or business discussions when I am trying to relax in a plane. It is bad enough when inconsiderate callers are chatting anywhere else that is crowded especially if they feel that they have to speak very loudly because they think they need to in order to be heard.