Not content to ban smoking in public, San Francisco is now considering a ban on smoking in one’s own home, should they live in an apartment.
Reason reported that the city’s Board of Supervisors are considering the bill and voted last Thursday to advance it. The bill “would ban smoking inside private dwellings in apartments with three or more units,” the outlet reported.
The bill wouldn’t apply to just tobacco products with known second-hand concerns. It would also ban marijuana and even vaping in the private dwellings, The San Francisco Examiner reported. Bill sponsor Supervisor Norman Yee, tweeted that the goal of the bill was to “help residents avoid exposure to secondhand smoke in their own homes.”
“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,” he added.
San Francisco provides clean needles to heroin addicts, yet this bill amounts to shaming of those addicted to legal substances such as tobacco and marijuana.
“San Francisco currently bans smoking in 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,” Reason reported.
Residents would first receive warnings for violating the ban, should it take effect. They could then face fines of up to $1,000 for violations, though not eviction.
San Francisco saw a $1.7 billion budget shortfall this year and passed a budget in September that would allegedly close it over the next two-and-a-half years. The city routinely faces budget deficits. This year is even worse, as employees at the city’s Big Tech firms working from home due to COVID realized they could live better in cheaper parts of the country.
“During the first year of the ban, the Department of Public Health would also have to run a “multilingual and culturally responsive public information campaign to raise awareness of the smoking prohibition and cessation resources,” Reason reported.
“Sixty-three California cities have implemented similar bans. The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Heart Association, and the San Francisco Tobacco-Free Coalition have issued letters in support of Yee’s proposal.”
The letters, the outlet reported, insist there’s “no safe amount of secondhand smoke exposure” and ignore recent medical studies showing “no clear link between secondhand smoke and lung cancer.” The outlet also reported that studies claiming that smoking bans in public spaces led to drops in heart attacks and heart disease, are not true.
“Yee has argued for his ban on the grounds that people largely have to shelter in their homes during the pandemic. One could use that same argument against the ban: It’s better to have people smoking in their apartments than lighting up on crowded public streets,” the outlet concluded.