In a move lauded by anti-smoking activists and destined to be fumed about by those who see it as an invasion of privacy, the San Francisco suburb of San Rafael has voted to ban smoking in any multi-family home. Doesn’t matter if you’re renting it or own it outright — the City Council voted unanimously to join nine other California municipalities who have outlawed smoking in such buildings.
The community of about 57,000 voted for the ordinance this week, which would not only ban smoking in condos, duplexes or apartments or any other multi-unit housing, but would also make it illegal to smoke on downtown streets. The City Council hopes it will encourage other cities around the nation to do the same, reports Reuters.
“We are happy to blaze a trail,” Mayor Gary Phillips said before the vote [ed. note: He totally used “blaze” on purpose, right?]. “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.”
California is the only state where local jurisdictions have banned smoking in homes, notes the American Lung Association. That’s something that doesn’t sit too well with not even necessarily smokers, but those who believe what you do in private is your business alone.
“This proposed smoking ban actually intends to punish people for what they do in their own homes,” said one San Rafael resident who voiced his opposition to the council. “I really feel this is tyranny.”
Other cities that have prohibited smoking in homes have restricted the rule to only new construction or a certain percentage of the units in a housing complex, but San Rafael’s ordinance applies to all homes, new or old, rented or owned, as long as they have shared walls.
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