Smoking Bans

HUD Proposes Nationwide Smoking Ban in Public Housing

This is class-based paternalism in action.

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Juniper Street

Here is paternalism in action against the lower orders:

Smoking would be prohibited in public housing homes nationwide under a proposed federal rule to be announced on Thursday, a move that would affect nearly one million households and open the latest front in the long-running campaign to curb unwanted exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke.

The ban, by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, would also require that common areas and administrative offices on public housing property be smoke-free….

Since the federal government began to press for smoking bans in public housing in 2009, more than 600 agencies encompassing over 200,000 households have voluntarily barred indoor smoking. In moving to require the prohibitions across the country, federal officials say they are acting to protect residents from secondhand smoke, which can travel through walls and under doors; to reduce the risk of fires; and to lower building maintenance costs.

As The New York Times reports, this is more like the last action of an ongoing government policy rather than the start of a new campaign against a substance that, while still technically legal, is arguably as vilified in popular culture and tax policy. Indeed, in every day life, I'd say there's little question that being a pot smoker is less likely to raise an eyebrow than being a tobacco user.

So what comes next, after tobacco smoke is banned in federally funded or supported housing? Despite posing virtually none of the personal health hazards of smoking, vaping is everywhere under attack because it mimics the act of smoking. Chewing tobacco doesn't present the same externalities (real and imagined) of secondhand smoke, but it poses health risks, which are likely to be paid for by taxpayers (if you're living in public housing, aren't you more likely to be receiving various sorts of other tax-funded support)?

The proposed rule would require housing agencies to prohibit lit cigarettes, cigars and pipes in all living units, indoor common areas, administrative offices and all outdoor areas within 25 feet of housing and administrative office buildings. The rule would not apply initially to electronic cigarettes, but federal officials are seeking input about whether to ban them.

Individual housing authorities can be as restrictive as they want, extending the prohibition to areas near playgrounds, for instance, or making their entire grounds smoke-free, officials said.

  The Times quotes one resident who expresses frustration with the proposed ban:

"What I do in my apartment should be my problem, long as I pay my rent," said Gary Smith, 47, a cigarette in hand as he sat outside the door to a building in the Walt Whitman Houses in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn….

Mr. Smith, for one, expressed skepticism that a ban could be enforced. "You don't know what's going on in people's apartment," he said at the Walt Whitman Houses. He added, "What are they going to do, smell your apartment?"

Read the Times' article here.

As someone who grew up in a house with parents who were smokers, I fully appreciate the arguments—and these are independent of questions of the health effects of second-hand smoke—that being around smokers is a nuisance and unpleasant. To the extent that's real, there should be relatively easy ways to create parts of public housing that allow smoking and others that do not. For those of you who assume that the negative health effects of secondhand smoke are settled in any sort of serious way, please read my colleague Jacob Sullum's prodigious and award-winning output on the matter (start here).

But the idea that the state can or should condition the receipt of benefits on the avoidance of specific legal behaviors should be anathema not simply to libertarians but to conservatives who denounce social engineering and liberals who oppose treating lower-income Americans as incapable of making responsible life decisions. The smoking ban is best seen as akin to Gov. Scott Walker's "repellent, unconstitutional call to drug-test welfare recipients" (I might also add that Walker's plan is also cost-ineffective in any possible calculation).

The smoking ban is social engineering similar to giving tax breaks to people who have more kids (part of the tax plan being pushed by Marco Rubio and so-called reformocons) or mortgage-interest deductions that privilege homeowners over renters. It's also the thinking behind the creation of food stamps the restrict purchases to certain items deemed "healthy" or whatever (the reality is simply that SNAP benefits inflate food prices while creating a black market in which some recipients trade debit cards for cash at a percentage of the benefits' face value). 

One of the great insights and insistences of classical liberals in the 19th was that common humanity should not only mean that all of us should be given more control over all aspects of our individual lives (for a great discussion of how this played in British discussions of movements to enfranchise blacks and Irish, see David M. Levy's How The Dismal Science Got Its Name).

In the contemporary moment, it would be far better and more effective to many if not most questions raised by the welfare state to simply make cash grants to recipients who qualiy for whatever program. And let's be clear too, that most transfer payments of all sorts should be reduced in size and scope. Certainly that's true of the mortgage-interest deduction, which is utilized only by relatively wealthy Americans. A 2008 study by the conservative Heritage Foundation found that 19 percent of government 'benefits and services" went to members of the top income quintile.

Paying cash to recipients of things such as federal housing support and food stamps would not only end or minimize many of the market-distorting effects of current policies. More important, it would also treat recipients as responsible people worthy of respect and equal standing under the law.

In 2011, Reason TV interviewed New Wave icon Joe Jackson on his love of music and his contempt for the nanny state and smoking bans.

NEXT: German Intelligence Spied on FBI, US Arms Companies, New York City Man Claims He Caught Three-Eyed Fish, Researchers May Have Found New Tomb in Great Pyramid: A.M. Links

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  1. I have a right to be protected from the fake dangers I expose myself to. It’s in the commerce clause.

    1. Yeah… I’m not sure I have that much of a problem with this.

      If you’re in public housing, you’re sucking money out of the taxpayers. If you’ve got money to buy cigarettes, you probably shouldn’t be in public housing. At $5/pack, a pack-a-day smoker burns through over close to $2000 per year. Maybe her benefits should be reduced by that much?

      And that doesn’t include the consequential costs: Fires, second-hand smoke, the grime and stench on the walls, cancer, heart disease. How much does a cigarette cost American taxpayers when those costs are factored in?

      If you’re really so hard up that you have to reach into the pockets of people who work for a living and steal their money to pay your mortgage – maybe you shouldn’t be burning up $1800+ per year and setting the stage for medical costs of many hundreds of thousands of dollars?

      1. Now that you put it that way. But, how nuts is it to expect smokers are going to stop on executive order? Will we turn the housing into another ghetto controlled by another gestapo?! It is just asking for problems. Is it going to supply a fresh population for the private prisons? It comes down to the same questions raised about Trump’s immigration plans. It is just not sensible to expect this new regulation to be obeyed! Unintended consequences are what can be expected. But, being a non-smoker, all of my life, I can see the point. My wife wastes $15 a week on that crap! They should not be smoking cigarettes provided by the government!

  2. “What I do in my apartment should be my problem, long as I pay my rent,” said Gary Smith, 47, a cigarette in hand

    “Exactly,” replied HUD.

  3. If a private landlord can choose only to rent to non-smokers so as to minimize the cost of building maintenance, can’t the government do the same thing?

    1. Landlords can’t toss you in prison for smoking.

      1. I didn’t say they could. Landlords can start eviction proceedings if the terms of their contract have been violated. I would have no problem if the government could make similar stipulations when providing housing for people.

        1. The way I heard it was the way it would likely be enforced would be by requiring a non-smoking provision in the lease. Thing is, a lot of public housing is actually privately owned with the government paying a portion of the rent. So even if the landlord didn’t care if the tenants smoke or not, the government would require prohibiting it anyway.

          1. Private owners who take handouts from the federal government to rent at below-market rates to people who effectively don’t pay taxes, subsidized by me. Boo hoo if they can’t smoke and enjoy all of the freedoms to act in their taxpayer-subsidized residence the way people who support themselves with their own money get to act.

            If smoking is that important to them, they’re always free to move out into regular apartment housing…with the grown-ups.

            1. Incidentally, this line of thinking is why single-payer, government-paid health care is such a hideous idea. If Gov’t is paying for your health, and if just about every voluntary activity affects your future health, then isn’t Gov’t getting a veto on all of those voluntary activities?

              Granted it’s not like you’ll have the choice of not participating in the single-payer health market, which distinguishes the situation slightly from the HUD example here, but I think in practice it won’t be that much of a difference

              1. When single-payer comes to America, and it will happen, what I imagine happening is the government making it a criminal act to disobey a doctor’s orders. Don’t want to quit smoking, change your diet, and get more exercise? Guess what. You’re going to jail where they’ll force you to.

                1. They won’t jail you, but they will tax you.

                  1. Yes they will and they will jail you if you don’t not pay them.

              2. That not having a choice to participate isn’t some tiny little difference. That makes all the difference in the world. It’s force. You are forced to participate in single-payer, you are not forced to accept a rent-subsidy.

                You freedoms are not in jeopardy by some entity offering you money, but in exchange you have to live a certain way. You can turn them down.

              3. Yes, and let that stand as a warning against single payer.

            2. There’s no reason to leverage/escalate a financial relationship into operational control.

              1. Having operational control, in practice, appears to be an irresistible reason.

            3. “… The way people who support themselves with their own money get to act…”

              Get to.

              Okay.

              Taking bets now on what the minimum required income will be to “get to” make autonomous sexual choices in twenty years.

              1. “Taking bets now on what the minimum required income will be to “get to” make autonomous sexual choices in twenty years.”

                What on Earth are you talking about?

              2. Taking bets now on what the minimum required income will be to “get to” make autonomous sexual choices in twenty years.

                I see what you’re saying, but there’s a difference between decisions you make vis a vis your person and decisions you make regarding other people’s property. In the case of a HUD renter–or any renter–your right to make choices affecting the landlord’s property should absolutely be limited by terms of the landlord’s choosing in a mutually-agreed-upon contract.

          2. So even if the landlord didn’t care if the tenants smoke or not, the government would require prohibiting it anyway.

            This seems to be crux of the problem. If a landlord wants to stipulate non-smoking in the lease contract, it’s their right as the property owner. But if they don’t care one way or the other, the feds are going to force their preference onto the property owner. Of course, I suppose a landlord could decide not to accept section 8 tenants anymore (IANAL though, so I don’t know what the rules are for leaving the program – maybe it’s not that easy). At which point HUD will shocked, SHOCKED I tell you, that there’s not as much section 8 housing available.

    2. “Can’t” they? Obviously they can. But many people would say the most significant difference between private parties and the state is that the latter does not have the right to discriminate.

      1. The government defines what is and is not discrimination. So if they say it isn’t discrimination, then it’s OK.

      2. Piling onto sarcasmic’s point, the state absolutely has the right to discriminate. For instance, they can prohibit felons from living in public housing. What they can’t do is discriminate against a class of people that is protected by law from discrimination: the usual sex, race, creed, religion stuff from the ’65 Civil Rights Act; as well as any other specific classes deemed worthy of protection under the law.

        Should smokers be one of those classes? I don’t see why they inherently must be. If a private landlord could choose to make non-smoking a requirement for prospective tenants, why not the Feds? (SLD that the Feds shouldn’t be in the business of providing housing to non Fed employees, like the .mil, in the first place)

        1. Should smokers be one of those classes?

          If your heroin addiction is a disability, why not your tobacco addiction?

          1. Heroin addiction shouldn’t be a disability. Or, if it is one, it shouldn’t make the sufferer a protected class under the law. Otherwise I agree with you about tobacco versus heroin addiction.

            I thought we libertarians didn’t like attempts, like the ADA, to expand the government’s set of protected classes? Why then, are we concerned that tobacco users aren’t currently in one of those protected classes?

            As to the financial relationship translating into operational control, if single payer consumes as much governmental resources on a per capita basis as Medicare, and thereby end up consuming most of the government, the pressures to control costs will be enough that voters will demand just about any measures that promise to do so.

            Medicare’s already, what? 546 billion out of 3.69 trillion for fiscal year 2015? So not quite 15 percent. For a served market of 46.6 million people in 2010 versus a population of 309.3 million in 2010, or 15 percent of the population. Neat.

            Something has to give, and personal freedom to do what one wishes with their body is going to be one of the first things to go.

            1. There is some evidence that smokers actually save the system money, because they die early.

              1. There’s no question that lifetime SocSec and Medicare costs are lower for smokers.

                The whole anti-tobacco attorney-general lawsuit was a giant fraud, because it was premised on making the tobacco companies pay for the increased costs paid by the government for smokers.

                1. RC, are the lower SS and Medicare costs for the smoking cohort due to that cohort largely dying off before being eligible for either program? With single-payer, OTOH, they’d be eligible from birth.

                  Do you have figures for comparing total lifetime health costs and individual health costs per year, between smokers and non-smokers? I don’t at hand, but I was wondering if you did. I’m curious whether total lifetime health expenses for smokers might be lower than nonsmokers, while per year costs for smokers were higher.

                  Thanks for the info about heroin addiction. Does that mean a business in theory cannot discriminate against a previous heroin addict not currently using? Which seems insane, but that’s the ADA and Big Fed for you.

            2. Heroin addiction is a disablity. Technically, you have to be a non-using addict.

              http://www.usccr.gov/pubs/ada/ch4.htm

          2. Heroin “addiction” is a result of PTSD. 70% of female heroin users were sexually abused in childhood.

            1. Is that an actual stat or one of those Carly Fiorina stats?

              1. “87% of statistics quoted on the internet were made up on the spot.”

                -Abraham Lincoln

    3. But think about how tiny the savings would be out of the total expenditure. It’s not about whether they can but whether they should. Some developments are child-free, but would that be good HUD policy?

      1. It would be the best HUD policy. But not one we’ll actually get.

  4. Democrats will support it, cuz “smoking BAD!”; Republicans will support it, cuz “welfare queens!”

  5. This is a perfect bipartisan issue. It combines the rebublican desire to mess with poor people with the democrat desire to tell people what to do. Everyone wins!

    1. Living in MA, I can assure you, Democrats *love* messing with poor people… for their own good!

      1. So much this. Thanks, Tarran.

  6. “What you do in your bedroom is not the government’s business. Unless it involves tobacco, then we are going to kick your door down, motherfucker.”

    1. “I don’t understand, Officer? Officer. I don’t understand Officer, it’s not a cigarette, it’s an E-cigarette, confusing, I know. Did you really need to destroy my sofa, punch a hole in my drywall, and punch my wife?”

      1. And shoot my dog?

        1. I thought it was conspicuous in its absence.

      2. I imagined the fist coming thru the hole.

      3. “…Did you really need to destroy my sofa, punch a hole in my drywall, and punch my wife?”

        Cop: *sticks gun in Cynic’s face* “What it, citizen, you’ve gotten off light so far…”

        1. *Watch it…*

          EDIT BUTTON!

  7. Good as someone who knows a guy whose friend got cancer from 3rd hand smoke this is something that appeals to my reptilian brain.

  8. I mean, seriously, Nick, I don’t see the point of helping all these poors if we can’t at least force them to do what’s good for them.

    1. I think it is time to take control over what they eat, too.

      1. You may be joking, but I can guarantee you they already have that in mind.

        1. I wasn’t joking. It is going to happen, and some form of “it is for their own good” will be the underlying message.

          1. The way they do that is by telling businesses what ingredients they may use, how much, etc. Like trans-fats for example. That way they can say they’re protecting the people from businesses that are trying to harm them.

          2. I did not see that Tarran had already used the “it’s for their own good” reasoning earlier in the thread.

      2. SNAP and WIC are already on the case.

      3. “I think it is time to take control over what they eat, too”

        Well, the current effort to raise costs for fast food operators in NYC will surely reduce access to that.

        They’re way ahead of you bro

  9. I know the knee-jerk reaction here is to oppose this sort of paternalism, but can people really complain about not being allowed on property they don’t own? If you want to smoke buy your own property or rent from a guy that doesn’t give a shit.

    1. meant to say allowed to smoke on property they don’t own.

    2. How about a red meat ban?

      1. It’s only a matter of time.

    3. It possible to hate everyone involved and to ridicule their motivations while still respecting their property rights.

    4. A lot of public housing is privately owned, with the government paying a share of the rent. In that case if the landlord didn’t care if the tenant smoked or not, the government would be overriding the owner’s preferences for what happens on their property.

      1. Sounds like a great example of why people shouldn’t get in bed with government. Their money always has strings attached. These landlord are willing to take the government’s AKA the taxpayer’s money, but they don’t want to take the stupid rules that come with it.

        Perhaps if this results in less tax dollars going to basically subsidize rent then it will ultimately be a good thing from a Libertarian prospective.

        1. As long as there’s a waiting list to get into section 8 units, landlords are not going to complain they’re losing business on the basis of having to comply w a rule like this. It’s not a burden on the landlord, though it might discourage some tenants, but there’s such an excess # supplied of them, it has no effect on the quantity demanded. So it’s not going to save tax $.

          1. It’s not a burden on the landlord

            Being forced to enforce rules for the feds isn’t a burden?

          2. You get more of what you reward. Perhaps if you make the conditions for accepting subsidized rent so unbelievably shitty then nobody will want to do it. Kind of a backdoor way of getting rid of section 8.

            1. So, what do you get more of when you arrange a society built around the privileged few making lesser mortals’ decisions?

              Mr Clever hasn’t thought this through.

              1. Um unless someone is forcing you to participate (Hint you’re not forced to live in public housing) it doesn’t really effect anyone that isn’t cool with it.

                You do know how force works right?

                1. You think voluntary statism will always stay voluntary.

                  Hey, guys, he thinks it’ll be voluntary.

                  That’s friggin’ adorable.

        2. The “libertarian perspective” is that, whether a property owner takes tax money or not, she currently has the liberty to allow (or, I assume, disallow) tenants to smoke in their apartments. She has that extra bit of choice in dealing with her property. You’re saying it’s OK for the state to restrict that, with no explanation other than the government is providing some of their funds.

          Before this: landlord takes govt money, retains liberty to determine the smoking policy on his property
          After this: landlord takes govt money, unilaterally loses liberty to determine the smoking policy on his property

          Why are you making excuses for the state to further restrict liberty and contract rights?

          1. He who eats at the government trough is bound to get some heartburn.

            1. So we should be OK with that? That is how it ought to be?

              C’mon, people.

            2. This seems absurdly myopic for classical liberals living in a society where not being taxed as heavily as the left wants you to be is considered “receiving money from the government.”

        3. Would you have the same tune if the government conditioned your ability to take a mortgage interest deduction, or to have an occupational license, or to have a driver’s license, on your not smoking? The government isn’t like a private party that you can just choose to ignore. It’s everywhere and into everything, whether you want it there or not.

    5. Let’s ban certain things they like to read, too.

      1. Well if that is a condition for getting your rent subsidized, by a bunch of taxpayers who have no choice in the matter, and it bothers you, then maybe you shouldn’t be getting your rent subsidized.

        If I offer you 50 dollars to drink my pee, you don’t have to accept. You can say no the 50 dollars isn’t worth it.

        1. If I offer you 50 dollars to drink my pee

          Offer accepted.

          1. Its as if he failed to see that response.

        2. Suppose the condition were voting Democrat in every election?

          1. Well I suppose that would leave a worse taste in your mouth then drinking pee.

    6. can people really complain about not being allowed on property they don’t own?

      I don’t know, can they complain about not being allowed to speak on property they don’t own, like in public parks?

  10. Will there be an exemption for schizophrenics? They are notorious tobacco fiends.

    1. I can see the ADA kicking in here. Americans with Disabilities Act.

  11. Look the solution is pretty simple: If you want to be allowed to smoke then don’t be so damn poor.

    1. Same thing applies when it comes to eating.

    2. Fun fact: NYC has a law setting the minimum price of cigarettes. Poor people already can’t afford to smoke.

      1. When you make something more expensive then people buy less of it. Unless that something is low-skilled labor. When you make that more expensive no one changes their habits at all.

        1. It’s finally starting to sink in, isn’t it? It took a while, but I’m glad to see you are getting it. You get 3 Red Stars on your report card!

      2. Poor people buy their smokes outside of NYC. They can still afford it, and it’s cheaper even after transportation. 😉

        1. I buy mine in NJ but I still lose because I have to take the damn train there for work.

          Most poor people in NYC don’t have a car – unless they’re pooling together to drive to Virginia or something….

          1. unless they’re pooling together to drive to Virginia or something….

            Which is punishable by death by choking these days.

          2. Take the Metro-North to Port Jervis and walk to Pennsylvania, where I am sure cigarettes are a little cheaper. IT IS SO SIMPLE.

            1. I’m sure they wouldn’t mind me filling the entire car with enough cartons to make this worth the expense.

        2. Or they buy them from the guy selling loosies down the street, provided the NYPD hasn’t choked him to death.

          1. I was wondering when someone would point that out! Thanks Trickster.

        3. A lot of tobacco is being sold in the black market as a result. Missouri, with the nation’s lowest tobacco tax, has become a hotbed of tobacco sales for the black market. There are huge tobacco outlets scattered all over the state and it’s not uncommon for U-Hauls to drive the state, fill up on cartons of smokes and head back east. Even the mafia is getting involved. The only thing the tax will accomplish in the long run is driving tax revenue gained from sales down and making those who continue to smoke deal with possibly dangerous people.

          1. making those who continue to smoke deal with possibly dangerous people

            Feature, not bug

  12. I’m trying to get my dander up, but the specialty shampoo took care of that problem.

    1. Nobody needs “specialty shampoo” when kids are starving.

      1. Seriously, though, look at Bernie Sanders. You think he uses shampoo?

  13. In case anyone was wondering how they could possibly enforce this, they’re helpfully advising your neighbors to turn you in.

    1. “See something? Say something!”

  14. The last time I paid for a Pack of cigs for myself they cost $3.35.

    You know me : Keep Dope Alive.

    But when it comes to Cigs, I tend to side on the regulation side and not the freedom side.
    I don’t know why…it’s not my life and people should be able to commit suicide and do what they want when it doesn’t affect other people. I don’t buy this second-hand-smoke bit.

    Cigs is the biggest mass murderer known to man. I’m Dominican and many of my uncles lived to be 97 and all smoked Tobacco from a pipe or rolled. I think it’s the crap they put in the Cigs. At least make Big-Tobacco add an ingredients label.

    1. I tend to side on the regulation side and not the freedom side.

      I would not have expected otherwise.

    2. You realize a murderer presupposes the agent is a human, right?

      1. Alice Bowie realizes NOTHING.

      2. You know how we’re always saying the progtards are animists, right…?

      3. This is the comment section of the Internet and not my English Term Paper. You know what I mean.
        You guys must all be English Majors I always get complaints about my choices of words.
        I’ll try next time.

        1. When the choice of words is “I tend to like government telling people what to do” you open yourself up to a fair bit of criticism.

  15. that being around smokers is a nuisance and unpleasant.

    Not true. Being made into pariahs means you have some of the most interesting people you can meet. Hate the smoke, not the smoker.

    1. I’ve found this to be generally true. The only people worth talking to at a bar are the poor slobs huddled across the street and around the corner in the driving sleet getting a quick smoke. They are absolutely guaranteed not to be whiny SJW’s.

  16. Paying cash to recipients of things such as federal housing support and food stamps … would also treat recipients as responsible people worthy of respect and equal standing under the law.

    But if that were true then they wouldn’t be poor. /sarc

  17. It’s because of things like this that I support replacing all welfare programs with a basic income.

    1. Assuming that there is going to be some sort of transfer program like that (which is probably a safe assumption), that does seem far preferable.

      1. NR’s Williamson has made a couple interesting suggestions in that direction… first off, reforming unemployment benefits to pay out ~60% of the total remaining balance when the recipient finds employment (contingent on staying employed for a year or so), to encourage quickly re-entering the labor pool and avoiding the serious detriments of long-term unemployment. He had another savvy recommendation yesterday, I’ll try to remember it…

  18. I spend lots of time in public housing buildings for work and I think they should work on enforcing the “no urinating in the elevators” rule instead of worrying about smoking. Not sure if its just a NY thing, but 3 out of 4 elevators in these joints have puddles of urine in them.

    1. ^THIS^

    2. It’s probably all the non-smokers trying put out those cigarettes.

  19. I wonder if the people from either Team who advocate moar welfare for everybody consider the onerous strings that come attached to government handouts to be a feature or a bug.

    1. A feature of course. It’s how they control people they don’t like.

  20. Mr. Gillespie calls for the mortgage interest deduction to be abolished. As someone who takes advantage of that deduction, I find Mr. Gillespie’s comment to be hateful and to cause me pain. I demand that my pain be validated. I call for Gillespie to resign, admit his White Privilege, and pay me reparations for depriving of a safe posting space. I will boycott my next golf game unless this demand is granted. (Take that!)

    1. Golf is the whitest of all the privileges.

      1. Your mom, on the other hand, is available to ALL races.

        1. She is responsible for all the White Plundering.

  21. Up thread is a bit on heroin addiction. Such “addiction” is caused by PTSD. 70% of female heroin users were sexually abused in childhood.

    Is PTSD a disability?

    1. Addiction is a description of behavior. Cause?

      People in chronic pain chronically take pain relievers

      Being in chronic pain for trauma that manifests in brain changes is a crime.

  22. Abolish HUD

  23. My brother lived in an apartment in Denver. The guy who owned the building decided to make it non-smoking. My brother smokes, so he had to move out. A libertarian should be okay with this; the guy afterall owned the property, so he has the right to make it smoke-free.

    The government owns the public housing properties, ergo…

    1. Don’t call me ergo…

    2. I have no problem with that aspect. What I do have a problem with is the fact that this will involve law enforcement and there will be dead bodies.

    3. But as it is the government, shouldn’t libertarians demand that it adhere to the least onerous conditions in its contracts?

      A property owner also ought to be able to discriminate or demand all sorts of things in its contracts, but that doesn’t mean it’s just fine for the state to demand the same.

    4. Yes, the government owns public housing but they DON”T care about children, if they did they would make sure that the 730,000 children Julian Castro referenced had adequate heat and hot water and did not have to contend with rodent problems. The rats I’m talking about are running around OUTSIDE of the buildings eating leftover garbage because the housing authority has not provided adequate garbage disposal for the tenants. The NYC Housing Authority is using the children as an excuse to enact laws and rules to oust tenants.

  24. If you’re going to live on the public dime, the public gets to call the shots. Living on public assistance ought to be as restrictive and humiliating as possible, so as to encourage people to get off of it as quickly as possible.
    Nutritional gruel and morning calisthenics.

    1. Are there no workhouses?

    2. Funny how so many who hearken back to the glory days of the New Deal ignore that the works programs required working a full day for the gov’t, 5 days a week, for military style room and board and $30/month – of which $25 had to be sent back to your wife/kids/mom. $30/month is $3 an hour in 2015 dollars.

      It wasn’t a handout where you went online and checked a box saying yes you are still broke, yes you are still unemployed, yes you made a half-assed attempt at finding a job.

    3. Yes, and you must do your calisthenics in front of your tv, which has a camera so the government instructor can watch you do them.

      1. “Touch your toes, Montag!”

        1. Wrong book. It’s Winston, and the lady says ‘Arms bending and stretching!’

    4. I dunno, Hazel. You’re going to have a hard time getting all those SocSec recipients to start living on gruel and doing calisthenics.

  25. I am wondering where Nick got that childhood picture of Epi?

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  27. For those of you who assume that the negative health effects of secondhand smoke are settled in any sort of serious way, please read my colleague Jacob Sullum’s prodigious and award-winning output on the matter (start here).

    Unsettled science is no basis for making policy, is it?

  28. The focus on making public housing a smoke free environment should take place AFTER you correct the living conditions that tenants have to contend with in public housing i.e rodent problems, inadequate heat and hot water, ongoing problems with elevators just to name a few! You care about the 730,000 children living in public housing?? How about working on things that should be under control like not having to live with silverfish riding the elevators with children so children don’t have to ask you if the silverfish they see also live in fish tanks??

    1. ” The focus on making public housing a smoke free environment should take place AFTER..”

      Even better: Any focus on making public housing a smoke free environment should take place AFTER public housing is no longer needed.

  29. You know who else told racist jokes?

  30. Next up = mandated flatulence suppressors

  31. they can’t do that anh more than they could ban gun ownerships in those homes. Once someone RENTS a house, it is THEIR house, and, within the limits of the laws in place, they are king of their own castle. Stupid nannies…. shut up and go home.

  32. Goliath is winning.
    When your 84 year old smoking mom is thrown out of her HUD assisted apartment, where she has lived for over 10 years, into the snow and rain, maybe then you’d care?
    I have no bully pulpit, and I, obviously have no writing skill, but if I did, or, if I had a few million dollars, I would rain the wraith of truth on these lying, thieving bastards from hell.
    This is not now, nor has it ever been about smoking or health. It’s about money. Lots of money.

  33. Federal agencies have found the way to give massive amounts of money to progressive, Democrat leaning, non taxed foundations and “charities”. All the groups are required to do is BREAK THE FEDERAL LOBBYING LAWS, which they do. Lie, which they do. They would throw their own mothers out of an airplane for a nickel!
    Jacob or Nick could expose this complex cluster****. I keep hoping that someone, ANYONE, will.
    In the meantime, little bar owners are fighting back, with NO money, against hundreds of millions of dollars (which is hidden from public knowledge) and the sanctified appearing non profits, who are not going to tell anyone how much money they are spending and funneling in the Champagne Tower.

  34. One reporter called the required attempt to make this gang bang look like “grassroots”. She called it “astroturf.
    NO media will report the funding of all this, as they are getting ad money for the full page pro ban ads, and are listed as “partners” in every pro ban “coalition”. Forming a Coalition is required in the pro ban handbook. These “coalitions” are not listed as a lobbying organizations with Secs of State, which, legally is required. No one cares.
    No one cares that the federal agencies are funding lobbying. When confronted, the CDC sent out “more clear directives” on lobbying. (With a wink and a nod, of course. They REQUIRE grant receivers to lobby. They TRAIN grant receivers to lobby.)

  35. Almost all colleges get the tobacco ban federal funds and are required to produce pro ban “studies” and “polls”, which they do or else they lose federal funds.
    No grant moocher or sponger on any level from the feds to state to local to non profits to colleges will EVER turn down a nickel, and they will instantly agree to say or do ANYTHING to get a penny.
    Blue Cross offers $50,000 grants to tiny towns to pass bans. (At the same time the CPPW, CTG, and pharma created foundations are pumping money into the same town or state.)

  36. At the same time these two start muscling your elected officials, your own local and/or state health department moves in the federal funds that THEY got to pass a ban. (Communities Putting Prevention To Work AND Community Transformation grants AND Corporation For National Community Service grants (federal funds distributed through state level “non profits”, such as Kansas Health Foundation, Missouri Foundation For Health, etc., every state has one)
    Your state and local health department employees have their very own foundations who get federal money to assist and train TAX PAID municipal employees in lobbying techniques. (NACHO and ASTHOS)

  37. They are a paid lobbying organization.
    The American Cancer Society (read their 990 on Guidestar!) is also very high up in the Tobacco Control Champagne Tower. They had to form their own lobbying “foundation” as they are not supposed to be lobbying. They call their created lobbying group the ACS Cancer Action Network. Rather like paying as assassin to do the dirty work that you PAY them to do.
    The ACS and ALA show up at EVERY state or local level government meeting where a smoking ban has been proposed by THEMSELVES. (The ALA puts the pro ban tee shirts on the teenagers they trot out to prove this is to save “the children”.

  38. There is a Champagne Tower of Tobacco Control funds from federal agencies into the non taxed, very profitable “non profits”, not only in the USA, but worldwide. At the top of the Tower is the CDC Foundation, (yes, they have a foundation that runs the tobacco control efforts. Michael Bloomberg and his “foundation”, Gates, RWJF, Pfizer fund other “foundations”, (including Campaign For Tobacco Free Kids, who fund the Tobacco Free _______ (fill in state name) in THAT “foundation” to lobby and produce junk science) pharmaceutical companies, who sell patches and gums and Chantix, (they fund a lot of the national and worldwide “conventions” of tobacco control, where eager grant moochers and spongers show up to be “trained in tobacco control “Best Practices”)
    The EPA has given over $14,000,000.00 to the American Lung Association, and then they fund local affiliates to go to apartment complexes, and along with HUD, they together strong arm property owners to go non smoking. ALA produces the predetermined “polls” of the folks who live in the HUD funded properties. You, Silly, thought they were trying to cure lung disease, and operated on public donations! If you consider EPA and HHS and CDC, “the public” you would be correct. The ALA is paid to produce smoking bans and tobacco tax increases, and, now, they are paid to make the public think that “global warming” is killing millions of people!

  39. Sorry, you all, for the length of the last few comments. I had to break them up to fit. So start with last first.

    1. No reason to apologize, you’re speaking the truth no matter how much you have broken it up. When oh when an ivestigative journalist will pick up on all this and bring it to the public’s attention. When oh when will a lawyer decide that they have a strong case against all this corruption and bring the culprits to trial and when oh when will the public decide that they have had enough of seeing their taxes and donations being misused in such illegal ways?

    2. Good points in all SMartin! Unfortunately those things don’t get nearly as much airplay for public consideration as the latest nonsense piece about “thirdhand smoke” or “The Evils Of Vaping” etc.

      :/
      MJM

  40. Two points:

    1) If secondhand smoke is going to be recognized as a real enough entity to justify this sort of ban on the basis of particulates and smell and cleaning cost, then what about secondhand bacon smoke, a substance that also — if given the same sort of “real” standing — is forcing secondhand pork particulates down the throats of many who have strong religious objections against any such ingestion.

    Sounds silly? Well, interapartmental secondhand tobacco smoke sounded pretty silly not too long ago too. But in both cases there are pressure groups out there, and one case is as real as the other.

    – MJM

  41. Two points:

    1) If secondhand smoke is going to be recognized as a real enough entity to justify this sort of ban on the basis of particulates and smell and cleaning cost, then what about secondhand bacon smoke, a substance that also — if given the same sort of “real” standing — is forcing secondhand pork particulates down the throats of many who have strong religious objections against any such ingestion.

    Sounds silly? Well, interapartmental secondhand tobacco smoke sounded pretty silly not too long ago too. But in both cases there are pressure groups out there, and one case is as real as the other.

    – MJM

    1. Sorry for the double comment. Please delete this second instance. :/ My further point will be below, separately. – MJM

  42. 2) (second point) I’m surprised and disappointed at the number of people here being sucked into the old “Divide and Conquer” trick.

    Antismokers have been nibbling away at apartment/condo bans for years, but they haven’t really been able to make much of a dent in getting actual laws. Sooooo… what do they do? They go after public housing, knowing that a chunk of the Free Choice freedom-lovers will get distracted off into the “Well, they’re living on OUR taxes so they should accept the rules!” argument.

    It seems to be working, sadly, despite the fact that it’s no more valid than banning bacon-frying. Meanwhile, once they’ve got the millions of PHA folks homes as a solid precedent, they **WILL** come after ALL condos, apartments, and even ROW HOMES … because, after all, babies EVERYWHERE have “a right to breathe,” don’t they?

    ::sigh:: Please folks, DON’T fall for their new game.

    – MJM

  43. Better idea: a nationwide ban on public housing.

  44. The WHO (World Health Organisation) has a ‘quit line’ whereby people can get help with their addiction-a ‘world health standard’? The US Department of Health and Human Services provides a link to a Public Health Service (PHS) guide, provided by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), which outlines concrete steps to help smokers and other tobacco users quit-a US national standard? The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) has material “How to Quite”-a standard for country wide medical care? I’ve inquired into housing in Loma Linda CA – a ‘Blue Zone’ – a place where people live a little longer – active lifestyles into their 100s and there are some ‘no smoking’ ordinances-either INSIDE or OUTSIDE such multi-residential buildings. Is this an ideal?

    1. I’ve talked to people about some of what are the best ideals for those needing HUD Section 8 public housing assistance-it is rather extraordinary to presume that-this present U.S. Presidential administration would empower Congress and agencies to ‘create’ more of a ‘progressive’ HUD Section 8 funding for people to seek out ANY HOUSING that complies with high standards of habitation meaning-anywhere, anyplace, any dwelling. Just so, that anyone who is willing to rent to someone else and who applies for that rental should have a right to live such a place/anywhere-meaning anywhere at all-providing it is a humane, healthy domain (no smoking) AND it is acceptable to the renter i.e., and rentee (both parties). This means, that if a nonsmoker wants to rent from any owner/manager of a dwelling and it meets a high standard of NO SMOKING then it would certainly achieve ‘the common good’ of all involved. Free? Too ideal? This is an extraordinary high standard of community health-for free thinking individuals. Or is it? If someone who owns a dwelling/whether is a ‘public housing’ building or a private corporation building or even an independently owned house owned by an individual not connected with HUD-it should be a human right some people think.

      1. I’ve even talked to homeless people about applying for housing subsidies from HUD and a number of homeless people don’t want anything to do with Section 8 housing because they ARE addicted, they use it as an escape from this world, and want no part of recovery. Do fire insurance agencies, police agencies, public health agencies have a budget for the matter of smoking in any type of building? Oh well, that’s about all I’ve learned about this matter from my limited sphere of influence.

  45. Apparently the government considers second hand smoke more dangerous to kids and old people than the thousands of convicts, most of whom were convicted of drug offenses, they are going to move into public housing.

    How often we see government action that is supposed to eliminate a perceived problem morph into an unforeseen mess. Anyone remember the EPA created disaster at a mine in Colorado? Withdraw all troops from Iraq, leaving a void? The list goes on and on. And now we are going to let in thousands of ‘refugees’ into the country who, despite what the Administration says, will NOT be sufficiently vetted to prevent jihadis from coming in.

  46. I am all for the ban too. Smoking is the major cause of several diseases, such as cancer, long-term (chronic) respiratory diseases, and heart disease, as well as premature death. We should take some strict action but by taking the public in confidence. The smoking tobacco epidemic is global and so must be the solutions. We just find out and apply them so that the smoker may not suffer and can adapt new solution.

  47. We believe that every smoker can become smoke-free with our guidance. No matter how many times your have tried, no matter how many different products you have used, no matter if you think it is hopeless, We can help you in this matter giving 100% result.

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