Smoking Bans

San Francisco Considers $1,000 Fines for People Smoking Tobacco or Cannabis in Their Apartments

A bill under consideration by the city's Board of Supervisors would ban smoking in private dwellings located in apartment buildings with three or more units.

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San Francisco politicians are considering yet another policy that would harm renters while infringing on property rights: a ban on smoking inside private apartment buildings.

On Thursday, a committee of the city's Board of Supervisors voted to advance a bill that would ban smoking inside private dwellings located in apartments with three or more units. The San Francisco Examiner reports that the restrictions would apply not just to tobacco products, but also to smoking marijuana and even to vaping.

The goal, according to bill sponsor Supervisor Norman Yee, is to protect nonsmoking apartment dwellers from the fumes of their inconsiderate neighbors.

"I'm proud to help residents avoid being exposed to secondhand smoke in their own homes," Yee tweeted when he introduced the bill last week. "Smoke easily moves between units and buildings. Now that more of us work from home, it's more important than ever because there is no way to contain it."

San Francisco currently bans smoking in the enclosed common areas of multi-unit buildings. Yee's proposal extends this to the interiors of those buildings' private homes, as well as to balconies and patios.

The bill would allow the city's Department of Public Health to fine offenders up to $1,000, although the Examiner reports that they would first receive warnings. Violating this ban would not be grounds for eviction, according to the bill's text.

During the first year of the ban, the Department of Public Health would also be required to run a "multilingual and culturally responsive public information campaign to raise awareness of the smoking prohibition and cessation resources."

Sixty-three California cities have implemented similar bans. Yee's proposal is endorsed by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Heart Association, and the San Francisco Tobacco-Free Coalition, all of which have issued letters in support.

These letters list common claims about the dangers of secondhand smoke, including the idea that that there's "no safe amount of secondhand smoke exposure" and that secondhand smoke kills 41,000 people a year. Yet more recent medical studies have found no clear link between secondhand smoke and lung cancer. Improbable claims that smoking bans in public spaces bring massive, immediate drops in heart attacks and heart disease have also been largely debunked. A 2016 report from the Royal College of Physicians in the U.K. found "there is, so far, no direct evidence that such passive exposure [to e-cigarette vapor] is likely to cause significant harm."

Yee has argued for his ban on the grounds that people are largely expected to shelter in their homes during the pandemic. One could use that same argument against the proposed ban: It's better to have people smoking in their apartments than lighting up on crowded public streets.

This is particularly true for marijuana smokers, who would have few places to indulge if Yee's ban were to pass. In San Francisco, smoking marijuana is illegal in public and in almost all businesses besides the city's cannabis lounges—which are closed during the pandemic.

To his credit, I guess, Yee has proposed an amendment allowing people with medical marijuana cards to continue smoking weed in their apartments, according to the Examiner. At least one supervisor, Rafael Mandelman, has said he wants a blanket exemption for cannabis.

Given the tenuous public health case for cracking down on secondhand smoke, it's hard to see this proposal as anything other than an advanced form of invasive nanny statism. It effectively treats people's homes as public places just because they happen to live in an apartment building.

That's pretty bad for privacy and pretty bad for liberty. It's also pretty discriminatory against apartment residents. Folks wealthy enough to afford a home, or at least a duplex, in the ultra-expensive city won't be affected by the ban.

None of this is meant to discount the preferences of nonsmokers who don't want to smell cigarette smoke in their own homes. But that preference can be satisfied by living in a building that bans smoking as a condition of the lease. Similarly, smokers who want to toke up in their own homes should be able to select a building that permits that.

Obviously, people's ability to find a building that caters to their indoor smoking preferences is made much more difficult by San Francisco's ban on apartments in much of the city. That shortage of housing is forcing these two groups of people to live cheek-by-ashtray in whatever homes they can find, leading to conflict.

Surely a better solution would be to legalize new construction so that consumers can choose from more types of housing in more places. Smokers and nonsmokers alike would then be more able to pick environments that better suits their needs.

The full Board of Supervisors will consider Yee's smoking ban next month.

NEXT: New York, Shamefully, on the Verge of Shuttering Public Schools

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  1. And then ban houses.

    1. Which will be free.

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    2. Say Green Teeth, Is it particularly harsh to force someone who believes that no-knock raids cause murder to pay for another’s prohibition laws?

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  2. “Given the tenuous public health case for cracking down on secondhand smoke, it’s hard to see this proposal as anything other than an advanced form of invasive nanny statism.”

    All they have to do is tie it all back to preventing and/or diminishing the effects COVID, and they are set.

    COVID is going to be the lube for every imaginable government ass fucking they can manage to roll out. Time to heal, people. Time to heal.

    1. Well, and really, nobody likes niccers.

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  3. Can’t smoke through a mask outdoors.

    1. What if your mask is made of tobacco leaves?

      Pot leaves might be hard to turn into a mask.

      1. Pot leaves might be hard to turn into a mask.

        Woody Harrelson: Hold my beer.

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      2. Pretty sure they take hemp an turn it into all kinds of cloth.

        1. The Bill of Rights is written on Indian hemp paper.

  4. Something, something…disproportionate number of POC in jail…something, something end policing for profit something something…defund the police…something, something…legalize it.

    1. If you defund the police, than they will raise their own funds. They need new laws to enforce in order to fill those coffers.

      1. Great idea… new reasons for malcontents to stalk and kill them just as randomly as they stalk and kill over victimless “crime” laws. Brilliant!

      2. Sort of like when a local police levy fails, followed by an inexplicable increase in speeding tickets?

  5. Should probably also ban cooking, farting, having BO and using any kind of fragrance. Some people are allergic or might be slightly annoyed by those things.

    1. Shitting on the sidewalk still allowed, nay, encouraged.

      1. Not in front of Nancy’s house! They will track you down!

      2. That’s funny. Someone should start a tour in San Francisco of places you can go and take a dump and have a picture of yourself taking that dump. like Nancy pelosi’s house or Gavin newsom’s. Like a brewery tour but with loaf pinching photo ops

  6. Don’t worry, with the new work from home opportunities and the proposed SF taxes on companies with CEOs making more than the City deems proper, all those apartments will be empty anyway.

  7. West Hollywood deleted cannabis from a similar anti-smoking bill earlier this year thanks to pressure from us cannabis users. Tobacco smokers, join us in standing up for your rights!

    1. You didn’t stand up for them while you were getting the cannabis okayed?

    2. Niccers don’t *have* rights. I thought everyone knew that.

  8. Because people out of work have so much hope in a socialist society and lots of cash.

    Lefties are just dumb.

    1. See? Smart sockpuppets push a _National_ Socialist society, which is completely different because it’s Christian altruism.

  9. Sounds like a job for the Board of Supervisors Smoking Police. I wonder if it will be as effective as the war on drugs.

    1. Just another opportunity for police violence.

    2. Our violence should be focused on reducing the surplus progressive population.

  10. A solution is to construct the apartments to the quality standards of the apartments in the ex-Confederate states in which I’ve lived. The walls lacked holes, and the HVAC were separate; I never smelled my neighbors’ smoking or their cooking. For what sort of shoddy shacks are San Franciscans paying their gigantic rents?

    1. The ubiquitous 3-flat, wooden Victorian house in SF is notoriously porous. Whatever is happening on one floor, must be enjoyed by all the other floors. That’s why my leases always had “no smoking of anything” clauses.

      1. If you agree to that limitation, there’s no problem. Using the cops to enforce a clause which wasn’t part of the agreement IS a problem.

        1. Agree. I just wanted to answer the previous question regarding “shoddy shacks”. While not “shoddy” in any meaningful sense, (they are flexible enough to have withstood two Very Large Earthquakes), they are very porous.

    2. “…For what sort of shoddy shacks are San Franciscans paying their gigantic rents?..”

      The ones they agreed to.

  11. They didn’t mention crack.

  12. The dog barked.

    They have very good noses.

  13. WTF? Are these people retarded? Mad with power? All of the above?

    I am sure the IDEA of nasty, dangerous tobacco smoke goes right through walls. I guess in the hyper-sensitive era we apparently live in, just thinking about something is just as dangerous as experiencing the actual thing.

  14. That’s funny. Someone should start a tour in San Francisco of places you can go and take a dump and have a picture of yourself taking that dump. like Nancy pelosi’s house or Gavin newsom’s. Like a brewery tour but with loaf pinching photo ops

  15. “…”I’m proud to help residents avoid being exposed to secondhand smoke in their own homes,” Yee tweeted…”

    Lefty shits are often proud to be so; witness Tony, asshole Rev, JFree, jackass, et al.

    1. Lol, I recognize Tony, AND the good Reverend from your list of proud jackasses. They both fight over who gets to eat Biden’s ass next, but they just can’t share.

  16. Open letter to the Social Management Director of Pelosistan..

    Hey comrades, what the hell is the world gonna do with all your serfs? First, you chase out the elites with the Biden Vote racism, fires and looting campaign, and now you’re driving out your peasants by getting rid of the smokes?

  17. “Smoke easily moves between units and buildings.”

    Damn but your building codes must really, really suck.

    1. If it is true that “smoke easily moves between units and buildings”, than so can Covid. Someone want to raise that point to either show what a load of shit this point it is or open up a larger unnecessary quagmire about the safety of sheltering in place with Covid abounding.

      1. Are you trying to point out a contradiction in liberal policy? That’s just a right wing conspiracy theory.

  18. Vote for fascists, get fascism.
    California is coming to a state near you – – – – – – – – –

    1. National and international socialism are so indistinguishable that even their useful advocates get them mixed up. California, Oregon–COmmunism. All the rest are NSDAP or NSAAP

  19. Vaping emits less than 1% of air pollution than does smoking a cigarette (or a joint), and vaping appears to be about 99% less harmful than cigarette smoking.

    As such, a simple solution to secondhand smoke in multiunit housing is for smokers to switch to vaping.

    Although hundreds of cities and counties have enacted bans on vaping in apartments, virtually no citations have been issued for violators, and virtually no complaints have been made.

    1. In SF it is illegal to purchase or “import” or have delivered vaping substances.

  20. To his credit, I guess, Yee has proposed an amendment allowing people with medical marijuana cards to continue smoking weed in their apartments, according to the Examiner.

    So if I happen to live next to someone who has a medical “need” to smoke marijuana, I should be subject to the risk of dying of second hand smoke but not if I live next to a recreational marijuana smoker? If it’s dangerous to others, how does it matter if the person doing the smoking is sick, black, white, male, female, or a Catholic? What next, allow certified alcoholics to drive drunk freely (after all, we are told that alcoholism is a disease).

    Perhaps it’s okay to require that leases specify if the building the unit is in and the grounds the building is on are “non-smoking” or not and require that the status can’t change for the term of the lease (although, new leases could impose non-smoking restrictions on new tenants past some date or allow smoking after some date to allow landlords to switch between “smoking and non-smoking”). It might even be reasonable to require that landlords enforce the restrictions, if any, and allow tenants to break their lease or sue for damages or an injunction if the landlord fails to make reasonable efforts to enforce a “non smoking” restriction.

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  22. “During the first year of the ban, the Department of Public Health would also be required to run a “multilingual and culturally responsive public information campaign to raise awareness of the smoking prohibition and cessation resources.”

    And when they find that People of Color are disproportionately being ticketed and fined, what will they do?

    1. Crack down on the filthy niccers.

      Oh, hrm. I suppose that referring to smokers as niccers is probably culturally insensitive.

      Oh dear oh dear.

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    2. A sunny day disproportionately burdens people of color. Everything is so terrible and unfair.

    3. Simple. The rules do not apply to POC’s.

  23. Something, something…disproportionate number of POC in jail…something, something end policing for profit something something…defund the police…something, something…legalize it.

  24. Apparently not enough people have left Commiefornia. More important “great”legislation to come.

  25. Banning people within SF city limits would resolve more problems than can be enumerated.

  26. The Sf City Council is made up of know-nothings. Look at their efforts to change the names of ~45 schools based on a variety of ludicrous reason when their are many more important things to do.

  27. Fortunately, the police being defunded, instead of being enforced by police, it will be enforced by citizen informers (your neighbors, your spouse, your kids) and automatic seizure of your bank accounts!

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  29. I’m sure vice president Kamala Harris will make sure that this law isn’t disproportionately enforced and used as an excuse to mass incarcerate black men, who statistically are more likely to live in apartments and to smoke and also to not have $1000 on hand to give the hold up man cops.

    1. It’s San Francisco, so they’ll just find some way to blame Trump instead.

  30. This article points out one of the three power groups standing in the way of marijuana legalization- the liberal Nanny state.
    The other two are the social conservative and LEOs.

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  32. 1. Prove I was smoking, bitch. You got a warrant to come in?
    2. That smoke smell is not necessarily proof I was smoking. I was just burning incense. (and I was doing it for religious reasons)
    3. For that matter, why is incense not included in their list?
    4. Maybe I was cooking weed brownies and I burned them?
    5. For that matter, why is burning your dinner not included in the list?

  33. How the fuck do they expect to enforce a ban on vaping in private apartments? It does not leave a lingering smell and quickly dissapates. I’ve wondered why SF is ok with shitting on the sidewalk but gets it’s panties in a bunch about anyone enjoying nicotine.

    1. Well, one offends their political enemies, the other provides personal pleasure to an individual.

      Their practices are consistent with their politics.

  34. This article brings up one of the three force bunches disrupting the general flow of cannabis authorization the liberal Nanny state.

    https://www.workant.io/

  35. It is so good news that smoking is banned in France!
    Nice article…
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  36. This article raises one of the three power packs disturbing the overall progression of cannabis approval the liberal Nanny state.

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  39. These restrictions are good for people. Buy and sell clothing with ease to the customers and seller. Now, these drug addicts will be in rehab.

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