California town crosses line; bans smoking in your own house

With smoking in public coming under continual assault across the country, one California city is raising the bar even higher.

San Rafael has actually banned smoking in residences with shared or common walls, making smoking even at home illegal in such cases, according to ABC News. The ban, affecting renters and owners alike, went into effect Nov. 14.

Rebecca Woodbury, described by ABC as an “analyst at the city manager’s office,” told the network she doesn’t know of “any ordinance that’s stronger,” saying the measure was “based on a county ordinance.”

Cities have tax clerks, construction inspectors — and now “analysts”?

City residents are not pleased.

“This proposed smoking ban actually intends to punish people for what they do in their own homes. I really feel this is tyranny,” resident Tom Ruppenthal told the City Council in 2012, when the issue was raised, a local publication called The Week reported.

Demand for smoke-free homes has increased, according to Jessica Scaperotti, spokeswoman for a large multi-state rental property group. ABC reported:

“Scaperotti cited studies showing that secondhand smoke seeped through ventilating ducts and walls, even through cracks. “It depends on a building’s construction,” she said, “but it does affect the unit next door, with the negative health impacts due to smoke.”

The ordinance cites such studies, plus a 2011 study by UCLA that found that California property owners paid up to $18 million a year to clean apartments vacated by tenants who’d smoked.”

Asked if there was opposition to the ordinance, Woodbury said there was hardly any. “We have a very low percentage of smokers in the county,” she said, referring to Marin County.”

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Matt Labo

Matt writes from his home in New Jersey. He has been writing fiction and non-fiction for several years, and has a passion for politics and sports.


22 thoughts on “California town crosses line; bans smoking in your own house

  1. Kimber_TLE says:

    Does the ban include marijuana? If it does, I fear for the longevity of the politicians who stamped this with their official “Okie Dokie!”

    If not, I see an expensive court case in the future…

    Enquiring minds want to know!

    1. Kimber_TLE says:

      Ah. Found the answer:

      “Smoke” means the gases and particles released into the air by combustion when the apparent or usual purpose of the combustion is human inhalation of the resulting combustion products, including, but not limited to, tobacco smoke.

      “Smoking” means engaging in an act that generates smoke, including but not limited to, lighting and/or possessing a lighted cigar, a lighted cigarette, a lighted pipe, or a lighted hookah pipe.

      The good news is: they don’t seem to have banned the use electronic cigarettes (a.k.a. e-cigarettes), nor do they mention the words “nicotine” or “vapor.”

      1. Kimber_TLE says:

        The bad news is: “but not limited to, tobacco smoke.” This could put a restriction on the use of medically prescribed marijuana.

        I definitely smell a lawsuit coming…

    2. hd20nascar says:

      In another article it mentioned a ban on cigarette smokers and not pot smokers. There, in lies the problem. You can not ban one form of smoke over another. It’s either all smoke or no smoke.

      1. Kimber_TLE says:

        If you look in this thread, I added a reply to myself after I found the actual ordnance.

        The ordnance makes no differentiation. Pot, tobacco, oregano – if you’re smoking it, it’s gonna be illegal.

        1. Holli says:

          I hate it for them, they worded it poorly…a joint or blunt is NOT a cigarette. Therefore, I smell a lawsuit,. LoL I look at it this way, if apartments are so hard to rent or so expensive to clean, why not do what the military does? You are required to paint your unit prior to leaving. It has to be a standard color, it’s a light tan/cream color. You are also required to deep clean the carpets. To get around this, apartment complexes could always do like restaurants used to – offer smoking and non-smoking units. Any law telling people they can’t smoke in their own home is crap. I do hope they get their pants sued off. So glad I don’t live in Cali. I’d have already done whatever I had to to get out.

  2. doximom says:

    How much tyranny are the American people going to put up with until they say enough is enough? This is ludicrous.

    1. Holli says:

      It’s like the old saying – you can throw a frog into boiling water and he’ll jump right out/ However, if you place him in luke warm water and keep turning up the heat, he’ll boil himself alive…..

  3. Sally Roach says:

    Rush said this day would come.

    1. Holli says:

      I’m not a huge Rush fan, but, he does make sense on several things – issue like this being one of them. smh Sad really that people don’t realize the facts of it all – People may be excited now bc they are getting their way but, keep in mind, at some point we will all be in a group that people want to pass laws against…….

  4. curry says:

    commie America and we deserve it for the pussys we have become

    1. Holli says:

      Speak for yourself LoL

  5. Isabella1709 says:

    The gulag is here! Perhaps changing zoning code to keep ventilation systems entirely separate would be a better choice.

    1. Holli says:

      Common sense is not so common.

  6. Aaron Barnes says:

    well how will the city enforce this law

  7. Lou says:

    If you dont smoke move into a non smoking complex. People rarely get back their doposit anyway. How’s that cost $18,000,000?

    1. Holli says:

      LoL Before I read your comment I posted the same thing!! Apartments can do what restaurants used to do before everyone decided people who smoke are all trying to kill those who don’t – off smoking and non smoking unit. Pretty simple. Then, they can do what the military does – when you move out of base housing, the walls must be painted a specific color (if you painted) and the carpets must be cleaned. The cleaners offered for rental at the Home Center are the big ones that actually deep clean. They could buy 4 of those and have them available for rent. That would save on having to spend the so called amount they are throwing around.

  8. Alex Galicia says:

    Loser politicians. Even if this doesn’t ultimately pass, they have definitely crossed the line from pushy to tyrranical. I hope they get recalled.

    1. Alex Galicia says:

      …. and this is coming from a non-smoker that lives in a condo. Stupid laws are meant to be broken …. and stupider politicians should be fired!

      1. Holli says:

        Why don’t they just offer smoking and non smoking units. Complicated is what politicians do best – that’s why they keep screwing it up.

  9. Nick Swayne says:

    Isnt apartment owners in california required to clean or replace carpets and paint every two years no charge.

  10. Bob Powell says:

    The 18 million to clean up was more than likely paid by the tenant’s security deposit. So the landlords paid no out of pocket expenses.

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