Government Overreach?

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In a unanimous decision, members of the San Rafael City Council have approved the strictest smoking ordinance in the country. Effective last week, Assembly Bill 746 bans residents of apartments, condos, duplexes, and multi-family houses from smoking cigarettes and “tobacco products” inside their homes.

Introduced by Assembly Member Marc Levine and pushed by the Smoke-Free Marin Coalition for over seven years, the ordinance applies to owners and renters in all buildings that house wall-sharing units for three or more families. The purpose is to prevent second-hand smoke from travelling through doors, windows, floorboards, crawl spaces, or ventilation systems (i.e. any conceivable opening) into neighboring units.

Levine said the bill is motivated by his desire to ensure that “Californians [can] breathe clean air in their own homes.” He continued, “In apartments or condominiums, whenever a neighbor lights up, everyone in the building smokes with them.”

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