Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login

Site Notices
1/22/2020 12:12:56 PM
Arrow Left Previous Page
Page / 2
Posted: 10/10/2007 4:51:05 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/10/2007 4:51:43 AM EST by AssaultRifler]
No word yet whether medical marijuana patients are exempt from smoking their medicine, or whether it's still ok to smoke crack

----


It's Official -- Belmont Bans Smoking In Some Homes

POSTED: 5:59 am PDT October 10, 2007
UPDATED: 6:15 am PDT October 10, 2007
http://www.nbc11.com/news/14307719/detail.html


BELMONT, Calif. -- The Belmont City Council on Tuesday night adopted a landmark ordinance regulating secondhand smoke in the city.

The ordinance passed on a 3-2 vote and will go into effect in 30 days, according to City Manager Jack Crist.

The ordinance was introduced by the City Council on Sept. 11, and then approved with a few wording changes at its Sept. 25 meeting.

Thought to be the first of its kind in California, the ordinance declares secondhand smoke a public nuisance and extends the city's current smoking ban to include multi-unit, multi-story residences.

Though Belmont and some other California cities already restrict smoking in multi-unit common areas, Belmont is the first city to extend secondhand smoke regulation to the inside of individual apartment units.

Smoking will still be allowed in single-family homes and their yards, and units and yards in apartment buildings, condominiums and townhouses that do not share any common floors or ceilings with other units.

The ban for multi-unit apartment buildings will not take effect for an additional 14 months after the ordinance is passed, so that one-year lease agreements will be unaffected.

Smoking will be permitted only in designated outdoor areas of multi-unit housing.

Additionally, smoking will not be allowed in indoor and outdoor workplaces, or in parks, stadiums, sports fields, trails and outdoor shopping areas.

Smoking on city streets and sidewalks will be permitted under the ordinance, except in the location of city-sponsored events or in close proximity to prohibited areas.

City officials have said that enforcement of the smoking ban will be complaint-driven.

The issue was first brought to the attention of the Belmont City Council last July, when residents at a senior housing complex complained of complications arising from secondhand smoke in their apartments.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 4:52:17 AM EST
Wow and I thought is was bad over here....
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 4:57:53 AM EST
Single family homes are next, if you have kids. Mark my words.

I love that it's complain driven. Turn fellow citizens against each other. Marvelous.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 5:02:07 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/10/2007 5:02:54 AM EST by arbob]
It wont survive a 4th amendment challenge. A totally unreasonable search would be necessary to enforce it.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 5:04:38 AM EST
Property managers won't toss out any drug dealers though, since they always have the rent money.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 5:09:39 AM EST
Will this be challenged in court?
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 5:10:32 AM EST

Originally Posted By CRC:
Will this be challenged in court?



Count on it.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 5:11:56 AM EST

Originally Posted By Subnet:
Single family homes are next, if you have kids. Mark my words.

I love that it's complain driven. Turn fellow citizens against each other. Marvelous.


ummmmm, isn't or wasn't East Germany located in Europe?
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 5:12:17 AM EST
We outlawed gay sex in Texas for years - of course there was no way to look into the bedroom to enforce it. Good chance since this is Cal, it will be challenged, but hard to challenge something until you have standing.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 5:12:52 AM EST
No different than an attempt to ban legally held firearms in an apartment.

Safety.

For The Children.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 5:13:09 AM EST
Until you have lived in a duplex appartment where your neighbors smoke
is blown into your own appartment through the HVAC, you don't know how
welcome this law is.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 5:16:05 AM EST

Originally Posted By The_Reaper:
Until you have lived in a duplex appartment where your neighbors smoke
is blown into your own appartment through the HVAC, you don't know how
welcome this law is.


There's always that one guy, and you're it in this thread. Congrats!
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 5:16:48 AM EST

Originally Posted By Taffy223:
Wow and I thought is was bad over here....


It is
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 5:17:12 AM EST

Originally Posted By arbob:
It wont survive a 4th amendment challenge. A totally unreasonable search would be necessary to enforce it.


+1

Apartments have already been ruled equal to a single family home in regard to property rights for the resident. There is no distinction.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 5:19:28 AM EST

Originally Posted By Subnet:

Originally Posted By The_Reaper:
Until you have lived in a duplex appartment where your neighbors smoke
is blown into your own appartment through the HVAC, you don't know how
welcome this law is.


There's always that one guy, and you're it in this thread. Congrats!


This wouldn't be GD without someone like me.

Besides, it benefits any topic to see other points of view.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 5:20:49 AM EST

Originally Posted By The_Reaper:
Until you have lived in a duplex appartment where your neighbors smoke
is blown into your own appartment through the HVAC, you don't know how
welcome this law is.


I hate smoke, but you can't honestly agree with this ban? If so your are a very short sighted person.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 5:21:26 AM EST

Originally Posted By Subnet:

Originally Posted By The_Reaper:
Until you have lived in a duplex appartment where your neighbors smoke
is blown into your own appartment through the HVAC, you don't know how
welcome this law is.


There's always that one guy, and you're it in this thread. Congrats!


I'll be the second guy in the thread then. My apartment smells like smoke and no one in this apartment smokes. My upstairs neighbors do. I equate the smoke with loud noises. You have the right to not be disturbed by me blasting loud music and running power equiment at all hours of the day and night, I should have the right not to have my place filled with your smoke. Smoke is worse as well. you can turn down the music and stop running the equipment but the smoke stench doesn't go away when the person is done with their cigarette.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 5:23:33 AM EST

Originally Posted By The_Reaper:
Until you have lived in a duplex appartment where your neighbors smoke
is blown into your own appartment through the HVAC, you don't know how
welcome this law is.


You do realize that if this law stands, the .gov will be able to attempt to regulate anything you do within your home, right?

This ain't a slippery slope, it's a fucking cliff.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 5:23:39 AM EST

Originally Posted By ACOGless:

Originally Posted By The_Reaper:
Until you have lived in a duplex appartment where your neighbors smoke
is blown into your own appartment through the HVAC, you don't know how
welcome this law is.


I hate smoke, but you can't honestly agree with this ban? If so your are a very short sighted person.


Would you say the same about noise ordnances?
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 5:27:01 AM EST

Originally Posted By Brians_45:

Originally Posted By The_Reaper:
Until you have lived in a duplex appartment where your neighbors smoke
is blown into your own appartment through the HVAC, you don't know how
welcome this law is.


You do realize that if this law stands, the .gov will be able to attempt to regulate anything you do within your home, right?

This ain't a slippery slope, it's a fucking cliff.


Again, you have that with noise ordinances. You can't blast your stereo at all hours and disturb your neighbors, why is cigarette smoke any different?
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 5:30:22 AM EST

Originally Posted By lagadelphia:

Originally Posted By Subnet:

Originally Posted By The_Reaper:
Until you have lived in a duplex appartment where your neighbors smoke
is blown into your own appartment through the HVAC, you don't know how
welcome this law is.


There's always that one guy, and you're it in this thread. Congrats!


I'll be the second guy in the thread then. My apartment smells like smoke and no one in this apartment smokes. My upstairs neighbors do. I equate the smoke with loud noises. You have the right to not be disturbed by me blasting loud music and running power equiment at all hours of the day and night, I should have the right not to have my place filled with your smoke. Smoke is worse as well. you can turn down the music and stop running the equipment but the smoke stench doesn't go away when the person is done with their cigarette.



I am sorry, I could not hear you above the WHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII­NE


You live in an apartment. You will have neighbors that do things you don't like. Talk to THEM, instead of the Nanny State. Christ. Fuck. GodDamn. Everyone has something to bitch about these days about how they are a victim of someone else.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 5:31:36 AM EST

Originally Posted By lagadelphia:
I'll be the second guy in the thread then. My apartment smells like smoke and no one in this apartment smokes. My upstairs neighbors do. I equate the smoke with loud noises. You have the right to not be disturbed by me blasting loud music and running power equiment at all hours of the day and night, I should have the right not to have my place filled with your smoke. Smoke is worse as well. you can turn down the music and stop running the equipment but the smoke stench doesn't go away when the person is done with their cigarette.


Try this. Assume that a similar law was passed, and covered your apartment. We know three things:

1. Your neighbors upstairs are reducing your enjoyment of your apartment, by smoking.
2. If you prohibit them from smoking, you reduce their enjoyment of their apartment.
3. There is no health risk to you, it just stinks to high heaven.

How do you resolve this fairly? Both of you have an equal right to enjoy your home. While it's true that they are affecting you negatively by having you endure a smell you find offensive, it is also true that you are negatively affecting them by dictating the terms under which they may enjoy their apartment.

How might you resolve such dispute? Is it not fair to say that both of you have equal rights in this regard? Surely, you're not suggesting that your right to live in your apartment on your terms trumps their right to live in their apartment on their terms. Are you?
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 5:33:20 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/10/2007 5:37:44 AM EST by callgood]
If I have to smell that crap in my apartment they can round them up and take them to a soccer stadium.


Originally Posted By Subnet:
................... Surely, you're not suggesting that your right to live in your apartment on your terms trumps their right to live in their apartment on their terms. Are you?


Yes.

I once got on my hunting duds and slept in the car while visiting my dad. In the panhandle of Texas. In December.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 5:38:35 AM EST

Originally Posted By phatmax:

Originally Posted By lagadelphia:

Originally Posted By Subnet:

Originally Posted By The_Reaper:
Until you have lived in a duplex appartment where your neighbors smoke
is blown into your own appartment through the HVAC, you don't know how
welcome this law is.


There's always that one guy, and you're it in this thread. Congrats!


I'll be the second guy in the thread then. My apartment smells like smoke and no one in this apartment smokes. My upstairs neighbors do. I equate the smoke with loud noises. You have the right to not be disturbed by me blasting loud music and running power equiment at all hours of the day and night, I should have the right not to have my place filled with your smoke. Smoke is worse as well. you can turn down the music and stop running the equipment but the smoke stench doesn't go away when the person is done with their cigarette.



I am sorry, I could not hear you above the WHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII­NE


You live in an apartment. You will have neighbors that do things you don't like. Talk to THEM, instead of the Nanny State. Christ. Fuck. GodDamn. Everyone has something to bitch about these days about how they are a victim of someone else.


No kidding next thing they'll be banning people from shitting in their own home because the smell could possibly get in the HVAC system and annoy the neighbor. They'll be yelling bring back the out house, I guess.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 5:43:26 AM EST
You live in a apartment.... You are gonna deal with other peoples shit. Save up get your own place, or find some like minded individuals and get a place together.

All good communist love apartments.. The idea of a bunch of people living together turns them on, dont do what the commies like, be free!
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 5:43:28 AM EST
This is a retarded law. Maybe they should concentrate on the revamping the building code for apartments to prevent smoke from infiltrating other units. Ya think?
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 5:44:00 AM EST
So where do you draw the line?
If not cig smoke, how about if your neighbor was casting lead bullets in the appartment
above you? Or playing with mercury, or asbestos, or ....

Personally, I see second hand smoke as hazardous.

The easy way to handle this would be to make appartments either "smoke free",
or "smoke filled". Then arrest anyone caught smoking in a smoke free appartment.

Link Posted: 10/10/2007 5:44:23 AM EST

Originally Posted By ACOGless:

No kidding next thing they'll be banning people from shitting in their own home because the smell could possibly get in the HVAC system and annoy the neighbor. They'll be yelling bring back the out house, I guess.


God Forbid you have an Indian neighbor cooking Curries. Heavens To Betsy... It makes me sneeze...

What about someone deepfrying with PEANUT OIL? There are people that could DIE immediately from that!! What if a former tenant accidentally spills some PEANUT OIL on the floor when leaving and the next tenant touches it and DIES????

We need to have a ban of PEANUT PRODUCTS in Apartments!!!

Oh the Fucking Noes!!!
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 5:45:54 AM EST

Originally Posted By Subnet:

Originally Posted By lagadelphia:
I'll be the second guy in the thread then. My apartment smells like smoke and no one in this apartment smokes. My upstairs neighbors do. I equate the smoke with loud noises. You have the right to not be disturbed by me blasting loud music and running power equiment at all hours of the day and night, I should have the right not to have my place filled with your smoke. Smoke is worse as well. you can turn down the music and stop running the equipment but the smoke stench doesn't go away when the person is done with their cigarette.


Try this. Assume that a similar law was passed, and covered your apartment. We know three things:

1. Your neighbors upstairs are reducing your enjoyment of your apartment, by smoking.
2. If you prohibit them from smoking, you reduce their enjoyment of their apartment.
3. There is no health risk to you, it just stinks to high heaven.

How do you resolve this fairly? Both of you have an equal right to enjoy your home. While it's true that they are affecting you negatively by having you endure a smell you find offensive, it is also true that you are negatively affecting them by dictating the terms under which they may enjoy their apartment.

How might you resolve such dispute? Is it not fair to say that both of you have equal rights in this regard? Surely, you're not suggesting that your right to live in your apartment on your terms trumps their right to live in their apartment on their terms. Are you?


Circular logic.

1. The neighbor can smoke elsewhere. Whether or not this impedes their enjoyment is subjective to each individual.

2. The apartment dweller who is unable to enjoy his apartment due to the smell cannot do so unless - a) the neighbor stops smoking inside their apartment b) the apartment dweller grows insensitive to the smell c) they move to a more agreeable local.

3. There is a health risk, as in the case of allergies, asthma, etc. (of course that begs the question of why such a person would live in apartments which allowed smoking...)

Again, let us create an example. At 3:00AM your neighbor begins playing Bohemian Rhapsody at ear-splitting levels. Both of you have an equal right to enjoy your home. While it's true that they are affecting you negatively by having you endure noise you find offensive, it is also true that you are negatively affecting them by dictating the terms under which they may enjoy their apartment.

How might you resolve such dispute? Is it not fair to say that both of you have equal rights in this regard? Surely, you're not suggesting that your right to live in your apartment on your terms trumps their right to live in their apartment on their terms. Are you?
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 5:48:52 AM EST

Originally Posted By The_Reaper:
So where do you draw the line?
If not cig smoke, how about if your neighbor was casting lead bullets in the appartment
above you? Or playing with mercury, or asbestos, or ....

Personally, I see second hand smoke as hazardous.

The easy way to handle this would be to make appartments either "smoke free",
or "smoke filled". Then arrest anyone caught smoking in a smoke free appartment.




That should be left for the property owner to decide. If the property owner decides that his apartments are non-smoking dwellings, I am perfectly fine with that. His house, his rules.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 5:49:19 AM EST



Hey, Bob... you smell smoke? Ya voll
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 5:52:46 AM EST

Originally Posted By The_Reaper:
Then arrest anyone caught smoking in a smoke free appartment.



Yes. Just what the world needs. More more reasons for the pussy assed cop callers to get some attention.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 5:57:32 AM EST
Hey motherfuckers, enfore it
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 6:05:24 AM EST

Originally Posted By Brians_45:
That should be left for the property owner to decide. If the property owner decides that his apartments are non-smoking dwellings, I am perfectly fine with that. His house, his rules.


+1. The issue is not whether smoking is appropriate or inappropriate in an apartment, but whether the government should be telling people what they can or cannot do in their own home. Very slippery slope, analogous to the creep of the "interstate commerce" powers of the federal government.

IMHO, this should be a private matter between the landlord/HOA and the apartment dwellers - ie. part of the rental contract. Unfortunately, the government just can't resist getting their fingers in every little regulatory pie.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 6:10:19 AM EST
Do I smell popcorn???

As for the comment about the next step being to ban smokng in single family homes with children, I totally agree. It's already law in a number of places with automobiles with children. It really is just a matter of time. Then it will be a criminal matter of endangering the welfare of a child and CPS will come and take your kids away form you for smoking. Then other dangerous activities too - too much fried food in their diet, guns in the household, and whatever else they can come up with.

-K
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 6:14:59 AM EST
I'm not sure if I support this being law, but I hate it when smoke from my neighbors drifts into my apartment. I have an intake/outtake fan in my window. According to which direction the smoke is coming form, I configure the fan accordingly. It is annoying and inconsiderate. Perhaps a few times a day I should waft some harmful vapors into your dwelling?
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 6:20:06 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 7:01:07 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/10/2007 7:05:20 AM EST by Subnet]

Originally Posted By Jaertal:
Circular logic.

1. The neighbor can smoke elsewhere. Whether or not this impedes their enjoyment is subjective to each individual.

2. The apartment dweller who is unable to enjoy his apartment due to the smell cannot do so unless - a) the neighbor stops smoking inside their apartment b) the apartment dweller grows insensitive to the smell c) they move to a more agreeable local.

3. There is a health risk, as in the case of allergies, asthma, etc. (of course that begs the question of why such a person would live in apartments which allowed smoking...)

Again, let us create an example. At 3:00AM your neighbor begins playing Bohemian Rhapsody at ear-splitting levels. Both of you have an equal right to enjoy your home. While it's true that they are affecting you negatively by having you endure noise you find offensive, it is also true that you are negatively affecting them by dictating the terms under which they may enjoy their apartment.

How might you resolve such dispute? Is it not fair to say that both of you have equal rights in this regard? Surely, you're not suggesting that your right to live in your apartment on your terms trumps their right to live in their apartment on their terms. Are you?


This ain't my first rodeo. I've been down this road before, and I was waiting for somebody to pull the loud music rabbit out of the hat.

It's not circular reasoning, because I haven't stated as a premise the conclusion I wish to reach. Heck, I didn't even structure it as a proper argument to begin with.

The real issue here is one of property rights. This is the great arbitrator, and the most effective way of resolving seemingly unresolvable quandaries. In the case of an apartment, it is completely up to the owner. It's his investment and his business. We have no inherent right to live there (or anywhere) in the first place. The owner dictates (or should) the terms under which he will allow tenants to use his property. Were he to ban smoking on his property because he believed it was good for business, the smoker is then free to make a choice. He can decide how important it really is to him, and go from there. Similarly, the non-smoker has the same choice. He is free to decide whether or not it's that important to him, and make a decision accordingly.

The health risk is practically non-existent in my view. There are far too many variables not being considered. Simply being able to smell cigarette smoke is not sufficient evidence of actual harm to one's health any more than the smell of exhaust. We need to know the actual concentration of harmful substances present (that means measuring it), and we need to establish (through research) the concentration likely to cause harm. Incidentally, I'd note that this is nearly impossible to do accurately.

But let's for the sake of argument that there is harm present. If people truly believe that the smell of cigarette smoke through walls, ventilation, etc is harmful, then I have to wonder why they willingly choose to subject themselves to it. The answer of course, is that they don't TRULY believe it's harmful. Oh, they'll say it is until they're blue in the face, but they don't really believe it. Because if they did believe it, then we'd have to conclude they're absolutely crazy. They know smoking is allowed in adjacent units, they "know" it's harmful, and yet they subject themselves to it anyway when they sign on the dotted line. That's lunacy.

They flat out don't like the smell. Fine. They know that using that as a justification for regulating the lives of others is bullshit (and they're right), so they steadfastly cling to this false notion that they are being victimized. It's all they have, and they get REALLY defensive when you pull the rug out from underneath them.

Regarding noise, I'll answer that by using a real life example - me and my neighbors.

Where I live, there are no noise ordinances. None. Zip. Heck, there aren't any ordinances at all worth mentioning. The only laws I live with are those of the state, and federal government. The extent of the county's involvement in my life ends at collecting my property taxes, and issuing permits for my well and septic. Heck, they don't even require (or issue) building permits. I'm just about as free as you can be, in the United States.

I have a neighbor who plays in a (crappy) band, and they practice late at night. The sound really carries, and I can hear that God awful mess they call music just fine. I can't call the police, because they aren't breaking any laws. I like it this way. When I want to go to sleep, I just toss in some foam ear plugs, or turn my fan up a little higher to generate some white noise. Problem solved.

You could argue that they are reducing my enjoyment of my property. Fine. But, if I was to get them to stop under the force of law, then I would be reducing their right to enjoy their property on their own terms. They can't practice during the day or early evening. What gives me the right to tell them that they must conduct themselves on MY terms? They certainly don't ask that of me.

I shoot out here, and as I'm sure you're aware, it's pretty damn loud. I'm a nice guy, and I don't do it at night. I have another neighbor who sleeps during the day, though. He works nights. Wanna bet that he's not real happy about the noise? What about when I'm running my mower, or my chainsaw, or my log splitter, or...

The thing is, it is absolutely impossible to conduct yourself in a way that pleases everybody. Part of being free means tolerating things other people do. We all like to say that "Your right to swing your fist ends at my nose". That's real cute, and it's an adaptation of Mill's Harm Principle. I've always hated it, because the degree of harm isn't quantified. The thing is, we keep defining "harm" down. It's gotten to the point where people have even asserted a right to increasing property values. It's gotten out of hand. Free people will occasionally do things that affect you. Heck, there might even be *minor* harm. But you know something? There are things you and I do that harm others in some way. It may be minor harm, but it still affects them. It's high time we stopped defining harm down. Let people be free, even when it inconveniences you.

And you know something? My neighbor doesn't practice every night. I don't shoot every day. We all get along wonderfully, even while we sometimes do things that annoy others. We do all of this without one single law. Ain't freedom grand?

I believe most people are basically decent and good, and if you don't try to impose your version of good and decent on them, they'll surprise you. Laws like this divide people, and create animosity where none need exist.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 7:32:44 AM EST
You can have my Marlboro's when you pry 'em from my cold dead tar stained hands!



Link Posted: 10/10/2007 7:39:08 AM EST
I see this as just another step towards taking all of our rights away. I realize that no one has a "right" to smoke but I do think that we have a right to subject ourselves to things that may be bad for us such as fast food. Hell, I'd be willing to be that at least some members here suffer from Carpal tunnel, what's next? Ban ARFCOM???
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 7:45:09 AM EST

Originally Posted By The_Reaper:

Originally Posted By Subnet:

Originally Posted By The_Reaper:
Until you have lived in a duplex appartment where your neighbors smoke
is blown into your own appartment through the HVAC, you don't know how
welcome this law is.


There's always that one guy, and you're it in this thread. Congrats!


This wouldn't be GD without someone like me.

Besides, it benefits any topic to see other points of view, no matter how retarded.




There, fixed it for ya
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 7:46:25 AM EST
Dont want smoke coming in from another apartment?

Move to a smoke-free building as designated by the property owner.

Dont want to move? Then live with it.

Stop running to the fucking government asking them to ban something every time it pisses you off. Other people have rights too ya know.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 7:52:50 AM EST
The Hazards of a Smoke-Free Environment
By Robert W. Tracinski
CNSNews.com Commentary
May 26, 2003

The bandwagon of local smoking bans now steamrolling across the nation - from New York City to San Antonio - has nothing to do with protecting people from the supposed threat of "second-hand" smoke.

Indeed, the bans themselves are symptoms of a far more grievous threat; a cancer that has been spreading for decades and has now metastasized throughout the body politic, spreading even to the tiniest organs of local government. This cancer is the only real hazard involved - the cancer of unlimited government power.

The issue is not whether second-hand smoke is a real danger or a phantom menace, as a study published recently in the British Medical Journal indicates. The issue is: if it were harmful, what would be the proper reaction? Should anti-tobacco activists satisfy themselves with educating people about the potential danger and allowing them to make
their own decisions, or should they seize the power of government and force people to make the "right" decision?

Supporters of local tobacco bans have made their choice. Rather than attempting to protect people from an unwanted intrusion on their health, the tobacco bans are the unwanted intrusion.

Loudly billed as measures that only affect "public places," they have actually targeted private places: restaurants, bars, nightclubs, shops, and offices - places whose owners are free to set anti-smoking rules or whose customers are free to go elsewhere if they don't like the smoke. Some local bans even harass smokers in places where their effect on others is obviously negligible, such as outdoor public parks.

The decision to smoke, or to avoid "second-hand" smoke, is a question to be answered by each individual based on his own values and his own assessment of the risks. This is the same kind of decision free people make regarding every aspect of their lives: how much to spend or invest, whom to befriend or sleep with, whether to go to college or get a job, whether to get married or divorced, and so on.

All of these decisions involve risks; some have demonstrably harmful consequences; most are controversial and invite disapproval from the neighbors. But the individual must be free to make these decisions. He must be free, because his life belongs to him, not to his neighbors, and only his own judgment can guide him through it.

Yet when it comes to smoking, this freedom is under attack. Cigarette smokers are a numerical minority, practicing a habit considered annoying and unpleasant to the majority. So the majority has simply commandeered the power of government and used it to dictate their behavior.

That is why these bans are far more threatening than the prospect of inhaling a few stray whiffs of tobacco while waiting for a table at your favorite restaurant. The anti-tobacco crusaders point in exaggerated alarm at those wisps of smoke while they unleash the systematic and unlimited intrusion of government into our lives.

The tobacco bans are just part of one prong of this assault. Traditionally, the political Right has attempted to override the individual's judgment on spiritual matters: outlawing certain sexual practices, trying to ban sex and violence in entertainment, discouraging divorce.

While the political Left is nominally opposed to this trend - denouncing attempts to "legislate morality" and crusading for the toleration of "alternative lifestyles," - they seek to override the individual's judgment on material matters: imposing controls on business and profit-making, regulating advertising and campaign finance, and now legislating healthy behavior.

But the difference is only one of emphasis; the underlying premise is still anti-freedom and anti-individual-judgment. The tobacco bans bulldoze all the barriers to intrusive regulation, establishing the precedent that the rights of the individual can be violated whenever the local city council decides that the "public good" demands it.

Ayn Rand described the effect of this two-pronged assault on liberty: "The conservatives see man as a body freely roaming the earth, building sand piles or factories--with an electronic computer inside his skull, controlled from Washington.

The liberals see man as a soul free-wheeling to the farthest reaches of the universe but wearing chains from nose to toes when he crosses the street to buy a loaf of bread," or, today, when he crosses the street to buy a cigarette.

It doesn't take a new statistical study to show that such an attack on freedom is inimical to human life. No crusade to purge our air of any whiff of tobacco smoke can take precedence over a much more important human requirement: the need for the unbreached protection of individual rights.

Robert Tracinski is a senior editor at the Ayn Rand Institute in Irvine, California.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 8:59:16 AM EST
Excellent article. It sums it up nicely.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 9:04:35 AM EST

Originally Posted By The_Reaper:
Until you have lived in a duplex appartment where your neighbors smoke
is blown into your own appartment through the HVAC, you don't know how
welcome this law is.

That's understood, but what if you live in a SF dwelling where you have a fence, or even some land between you and your neighbor? I could care less if my neighbor smokes.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 9:04:38 AM EST

Originally Posted By Subnet:
Excellent article. It sums it up nicely.


I have a good little start on a pro-freedom article collection here: americanrevival.org/articles
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 9:07:15 AM EST

Originally Posted By Deej86:

Originally Posted By The_Reaper:
Until you have lived in a duplex appartment where your neighbors smoke
is blown into your own appartment through the HVAC, you don't know how
welcome this law is.

That's understood, but what if you live in a SF dwelling where you have a fence, or even some land between you and your neighbor? I could care less if my neighbor smokes.


Easy. You assert an imaginary right to enjoying your living room with the windows open, then lobby for a ban on adjacent property smoking, if any detectable amount just happens to grace your sensitive nose. Then you sit back and watch arfcommers support it, while claiming they value freedom over safety in another thread.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 9:07:50 AM EST
This could not be good. I don't smoke but can't we keep the goverment out of our homes?

Whats next? Ban fast food joints? Ban the Big Mac?

Max
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 9:12:35 AM EST

Originally Posted By Subnet:

Originally Posted By Deej86:

Originally Posted By The_Reaper:
Until you have lived in a duplex appartment where your neighbors smoke
is blown into your own appartment through the HVAC, you don't know how
welcome this law is.

That's understood, but what if you live in a SF dwelling where you have a fence, or even some land between you and your neighbor? I could care less if my neighbor smokes.


Easy. You assert an imaginary right to enjoying your living room with the windows open, then lobby for a ban on adjacent property smoking, if any detectable amount just happens to grace your sensitive nose. Then you sit back and watch arfcommers support it, while claiming they value freedom over safety in another thread.


You're talking crazy, man.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 9:20:42 AM EST
Arfcommers get your family out of Kali and lets push that fucker into the ocean.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 10:45:42 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/10/2007 10:46:13 AM EST by ColonelHurtz]
The day that California passes the Airborne Lead Hazard Act and the Firearm Solvent Abuse Act, don't come whining here about your rights.

Your petty intolerant snitch neighbors will be lining up to rat you out for that 'funny smell' of Hoppes No.9 coming from your apartment.
Especially the one who used to be able to smoke in his own house.

Colonel Hurtz
Arrow Left Previous Page
Page / 2
Top Top