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Wisconsin Spotlight | Dec. 31, 2020

Come 2021 the residents of Concord, California, have something exciting to look forward to: not being allowed to vape on their own balconies.

On Jan. 1, the small Bay Area city’s ban on smoking in multi-unit properties takes effect. Once it does, anyone living on a property with two or more units—which would include apartment buildings, duplexes, mobile home parks, and residential care facilities—won’t be allowed to smoke or vape inside their residence.

Stepping out onto the porch isn’t an option either, as the new policy prohibits smoking in “exclusive-use unenclosed areas” like decks and balconies.

Because state law bans smoking cannabis wherever smoking tobacco is prohibited, the city’s new policy means you can’t toke up in your own home either. Californians are also barred from consuming cannabis in public, leaving the apartment-dwelling stoners of Concord with few options but to buy a house or move.

The justification for this new ban rests on the supposed danger that secondhand smoking (and vaping) poses to non-consenting neighbors who might be exposed to noxious cigarette smoke or fruity-smelling vape clouds.

The preamble to the city’s smoking ban raises a number of other seemingly contradictory fears to justify its ban on vaping, including that the practice has “grown in popularity in recent years even as traditional tobacco use has declined” and that vaping “may have the capacity to ‘renormalize’ tobacco use.”

Concord is actually a laggard when it comes to cracking down on victimless activities done in the comfort of one’s own home. Contra Costa County, where Concord is located, has imposed a similar ban in unincorporated parts of the county, reports the East Bay Times. So have most cities in the county.

In California, some 63 local governments have banned smoking in private apartments. And, in early December, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors voted 10–1 to approve a ban on smoking tobacco in buildings with three or more units.

Read more at Reason.com

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