Banning smoking is now okay in California
January 1, 2012
Banning smoking is now okay in California—so what?
Beginning January 1st of this year, a new law went into effect in California that allows landlords to “prohibit smoking of a cigarette . . . or other tobacco product on the property or in any building or portion of the building, including any dwelling unit,” or anywhere else on the premises. That was big news for those involved in rental properties in California. But I wondered why the legislature bothered?
Landlords could already prohibit smoking on their properties as long as they made it part of the lease agreement. So I wondered what prompted the California legislature to pass such a law. If land- lords could already prohibit smoking, what was the need for it?
Here’s a clue. Section 1 of the law pro- vides nine relatively detailed “reasons” for second-hand smoke being a danger to people. Since government believes it is its duty to protect us from every possible danger, could it be that this is the first step before banning smoking any- where in any rental property? Will it then be followed by banning smoking everywhere in California?
Will they just wait and see how this law works before they go on with more stringent measures? That is usually what happens when people have an agenda that they have the power to put into place. They take it one step at a time, letting people get used to each step, until they have everything they want.
How it might work is that landlords won’t take the hint and ban smoking, so the legislature will make the hint stronger with a law that requires every lease to have a “no smoking” clause in it. Then, of course, it would devolve to the landlord to enforce the law or be fined by the state.