Toward the domestic frontier

Berkeley, Calif. councilman Jesse Arreguin proposes banning smoking in private single family homes when children, seniors or lodgers are present [San Francisco Chronicle]

More: I’m quoted by Chronicle columnist Debra Saunders:

In deference to the secondhand smoke rationale, Arreguin suggests that the ban apply if a minor lives in the home, “a nonsmoking elder, 62 years of age or older is present” or any other “non-smoking lodger is present.”

Walter Olson of the libertarian Cato Institute compares the Berkeley nanny ordinance to secondhand smoke itself: “They are seeping under our doors now to get into places where they’re not wanted.”

He faults “ever more ambitious smoking bans” that rework the definition of private space. “Now they’re really just saying it doesn’t matter if you have the consent of everyone in the room.” Olson savored Arreguin’s suggestion that 63-year-olds cannot consent to being near a smoker.


  • Of course. After all its for the children! ™

  • My favorite part: Lodgers have absolutely no choice whether they move in with a smoker or not, so the state must protect them.

    My second favorite part: Enforcement
    Knock at the door
    “Open up! This is the police. We have a warrant to search you residence because we had a tip you were smoking a legal substance on your own property. We cannot allow such actions!

  • Council entity of undefined gender Susan Wengraf cites as her principal reason not to be in full support the lack of employees to enforce this new restriction. But be of good cheer! They can hire more people and pay for it by additional taxes.

    When I tried to comment earlier that it seemed as if a senior citizen could not smoke when alone at home, Walter sent me a note that the law specifically said they could. However, I wonder if you’re with a senior who is smoking, if you’re barred from smoking yourself.


  • […] San Rafael is in affluent Marin County just north of San Francisco. Woodbury said there had been hardly any opposition to the ordinance: “We have a very low percentage of smokers in the county,” she said. On proposals in Berkeley, Calif. to ban some smoking in private homes, see this recent post. […]