Articles

Belmont Enacts Robust Smoking Ban

In health, politics on October 14, 2007 by Editor Z

This past Tuesday an ordinance passed the City Council in Belmont, California , that would make smoking in all multi-tenant connected apartments and condominiums illegal and infractions could lead to fines as high as $1,000.

Neighbors in multi-unit domains would be prohibited by law and no longer on the basis of a land lord’s decision. The law would be based on complaints from other people in the buildings or locations in question.

In addition, the ordnance also bans smoking in public parks and outdoor restaurants, although smoking in yards and single family houses have not come under the reach of such a law.

Restrictions on smoking in outdoor public places will be put into affect sometime in the next forty days, while those that govern smoking will take effect some period in the next fourteen months.

This comes as in recent years smoking bans in such indoor public places as restaurants and bars have taken effect at the local, municipal, and statewide level all across the country, but few if any seem to have gone this far or been this sweeping.

Sources:

MonstersandCritics.com, Fox News, and LAist.com

MY TAKE: I hate cigarette, cigar, and pipe smoke smoking as much as anyone. I had asthma as a kid and it is an annoying habit that endangers the health and welfare of the smoke as well as those around them when it is done in an enclosed area.

Having said that these laws to me exceed what is reasonable or even moral. It begins to regulate what people can do within the confines of their own rented or owned residence. Its great that smoking is no longer allowed in restaurants and other such places in certain communities, cities, and states across the country. But this one cross the threshold off of the porch and streets and into someones home or building, and regulates what a person can or can’t do lawfully within their living quarters.

I strongly oppose such measures, whether they pertain to forms of consensual sex between two or more adults, an occupant being unclothed (as long as they are away from windows), or what we can watch on TV, listen to, read, or even eat (ban on trans fats in all foods kept in your kitchen cabinets here we come). That is the first step towards tyranny. I know that likely sounds a bit dramatic but it’s true. This could set a precedent for other such restrictions.

Smoking in one’s own residence should be determined by the occupant in question and the landlord as it applies. Not the government.

In regards to the smoking outdoors, that seems to go a bit far. It would be great if we no longer had cigarette butts gathered alongside the curbs of streets, but since people are no longer in a condensed public place, it is something that borders on the excessive, inane, and unnecessary.

I hate cigarette smoking, but in this case the prescription might do more damage then good.


One thousand dollar fine for smoking in all apartments and condos! If these laws took effect in the days of Newsman Edward R Murrow and he didn’t own his own house, he would really be in the poorhouse with few good nights and little good luck.

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One Response to “Belmont Enacts Robust Smoking Ban”

  1. That’s ridiculous. People should’nt be told what they can and cannot do in their own house. Especially outside. Thats just pushing it too far. It might discourage people from smoking in general though, which i suppose could be a good thing.

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