California City Bans Smoking at Home
Government isn’t content to control public behavior, it is now clamping down on how citizens act at home, as well.
Multiple media outlets are reporting that the city council of San Rafael, California has passed an ordinance prohibiting smoking inside residences with shared walls. This would include, of course, apartments, condominiums, duplexes, and other multi-family dwellings.
The ordinance was passed in October 2012, but did not go into effect until November 14, 2013.
According to a statement made by the city council on the city’s official website, the new regulation strengthens “the City’s municipal code to further protect the community from secondhand smoke.”
In particular, the ordinance “applies to all new and existing properties and does not allow grandfathering rights. Landlords and property owners are required to enforce this ordinance through new lease language or lease amendments as well as posting signage.”
The ordinance may be the strictest in the country, and city officials are proud to be out front on the issue. Breitbart News quoted Rebecca Woodbury, “an analyst in the San Rafael’s city manager’s office who helped write the ordinance,” as boasting: “I’m not aware of any ordinance that’s stronger.”
And the Blaze revealed:
The city’s mayor, Gary Phillips, is apparently well-aware of the leadership role San Rafael may have given itself with the decision. He said that the city is “happy to blaze a trail” before the vote took place.
“We’re most happy to be in the forefront of the issue because we think it will greatly benefit our residents and those visiting San Rafael, and we think it will set the tone for other cities as well,” the mayor proclaimed.
The Breitbart News story reported on the opposition to this alarming intrusion into the sanctity of the home:
“The science for that is spurious at best,” said George Koodray, the state coordinator for Citizens Freedom Alliance and the Smoker’s Club in New Jersey.
Steve Stanek, a research fellow at the free-market oriented policy group Heartland Institute in Chicago, supported the rights of smokers.
Stanek, a non-smoker, said, “My sympathies aren’t with smokers because I am one, it’s because of the huge growth in laws and punishments and government restricting people more and more.”
Beyond the city’s reliance on questionable science, the violation of the “Takings Clause” of the Constitution may actually be actionable.
The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads, in relevant part, “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”