State lawmakers consider banning smoking inside people's homes

State lawmakers consider banning smoking inside people's homes »Play Video
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — What you do in the privacy of your own home might not be just your business anymore. That's if California Assemblyman Marc Levine pushes his smoking ban through into law.

It's AB 746, and it is sponsored by the American Lung Association, an advocacy group that focuses on lung health.

But the ban wouldn't be in every home. It would only apply to apartment complexes, condos, duplexes and any place that is a multifamily living area. The rationale behind the bill is that when a neighbor lights up, everyone in the building lights up through secondhand smoke, including children.

People whom Eyewitness News talked with unanimously agreed that the bill is too "big brother."

"I think it's intruding on people's personal privacy. What they do in their own home,” said Derek Kooren of Bakersfield. “It's unnecessary."

"I live in an apartment. We have some buildings that are for smoking, and some aren't. I live in a smoking area, and if you want to split it up that way, that's fine,” said Todd Spaziani of Bakersfield. “I don't think you can just say, if you have an apartment or condo it should be a universal ‘you can't smoke.’”

This issue isn't new for Bakersfield. Last year, Kern County's largest landlord, the housing authority, banned smoking in all of the almost 2,000 units it owns or manages. But that move was with taxpayer funds.

This new bill would prevent even owners of the property from smoking. But if the bill does go into law, property management workers say there wouldn't be much of a difference from how it is now, since owners typically don't want tenants smoking in complexes.

“This bill that's coming won't change what's going on now because most places that I know of are non-smoking, and owners don't want people smoking in them for the damage and safety, from fire and things like that," said Pamela Fein, an office manager with Citywide Property Management.

Eyewitness News reached out to local Assembly Member Rudy Salas for his opinion, but he was too busy to give one.