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Santa Monica Bans Smoking In Your Own Home – Take That NYC!

Yesterday Zac told you all about Mayor Bloomburg’s ridiculous new smoking ban in NYC. He wants to make it illegal for me to sit in Central Park and have a cigar. Granted, Central Park isn’t my personal property, but seeing how about 95% of my salary goes to New York State taxes, I figure any large  property that is owned by the state ought to have at least the small part I pay for available for me to enjoy a smoke on. Based on that (possibly faulty) logic, I thought Bloomburg’s ban was going to be the most egregious legislation against personal freedom, at least for this week. Boy was I ever wrong!

In Santa Monica, CA they have officially taken it to the next level. Their Bloomburg-wannabe mayor has enacted a ban on smoking “within 25 feet of any apartment building door, window or vent”. The law is aimed at curbing smoking by people on their own private decks and patios in multi-resident apartment buildings! This is especially excessive given that over 80% of the city’s population resides in such dwellings. This ban is disguised as trying to decrease health risks from second-hand smoke, but it’s clearly just another step towards

The Mayor of Santa Monica's Campaign Poster

deciding what people can and cannot do to their own bodies of their own free will without hurting anyone else.

KBAC in Santa Monica quoted concerned citizen Elaine Keller saying “I don’t think anyone should smoke. I know it’s a habit, people get into it, but I think it helps detour people from even thinking about it if they can’t do it at home, at work or at a restaurant. So I honestly think it’s good for them and I don’t like cigarette smoke so it’s good for me.” This line of thinking terrifies me, plain and simple. I can’t believe that people actually think it’s acceptable to make laws just because they don’t like something. I’m glad that since Elaine thinks she knows what’s good for me that she can have a vote in deciding what I should do. As for me, I think Elaine’s favorite ice-cream flavor is unhealthy and should be illegal to protect her from herself. She probably won’t think about eating it if it’s illegal, and she’ll be healthier so it’s good for her.

After considering this law for a few minutes, I thought I saw a silver lining. I thought to myself that no police officer in his right mind would possibly waste his time enforcing this poor excuse for a law when there is likely real crime happening somewhere in an LA suburb. However, there are no police required for this one. This ban comes complete with the ability for any busybody who knows better than you what you should put into your body to actually prosecute you in small claims court should he spot you smoking on your deck. Said tattle-tale then gets to collect your fine money as “damages” for the suffering your smoking caused him.

These smoking bans are getting more out of control by the day. The erosion of our freedom to choose how to live is happening right before our eyes. What does Mayor Whiny-Pants of Santa Monica think George Washington would have thought about a law that prevented someone from puffing a cigar on their own deck? Not to mention the fact that the state of California is practically going the way of Amsterdam when it comes to smoking other things, so why the hard line against tobacco? Come on California, let’s get real here. Your state used to represent progressiveness, freedom, and a place where anyone could go and “be themselves”. Look out for Santa Monica’s next proposed law, requiring all citizens to exercise 1 hour per day and keep a glowing tan 12 months a year.