Ten years ago, California became the first state to ban smoking in bars. Since then, numerous states and thousands of cities have passed similar laws. And now, as a new Reason.tv video shows, smoking bans have stretched into private homes.
The city of Belmont, California, has outlawed smoking in all apartments, condominiums and other multi-unit houses that share walls, ceilings or floors. What's next? To ensure a smoke-free environment, some cities are banning outdoor grilling and barbecuing.
"You may like it when politicians ban something you hate, but sooner or later they will go after something you like," Reason.tv editor Nick Gillespie says. "Smoking bans in bars and restaurants set the stage for a proliferation of bans that have now reached into our homes."
The Reason.tv video shows life is imitating an old Denis Leary stand-up routine, in which the comedian asks, "What's the law now? You can only smoke in your apartment, under a blanket with all the lights out?" Nope, even that's now illegal in Belmont.
"I actually like smoking bans–I just don't like it when the government does the banning," says Gillespie. "Thousands of apartment owners, hotels and other businesses have voluntarily said no to smoking in their establishments, because their customers prefer a smoke-free environment. Others allow smoking because their customers want a choice. In a free, tolerant society, nobody needs politicians to tell them what to do."
The Reason.tv video, Just Can't Quit, is online here.