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Smoking laws are well worth it

October 02, 2010

The City Council's steps this week to further protect apartment and condo residents from secondhand smoke represents the next phase of anti-smoking policies, and Burbank is once again at the forefront.

Complaints that rules banning smoking in shared living quarters — be it via an air duct, patio or otherwise — intrude on private life smack of the same tired arguments that have been made against every progressive public health initiative.

How many of us can even stomach returning to the days of smoking and nonsmoking sections in restaurants? Or on jetliners? Yet when these bans were initiated, the hoopla was fierce.

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The impact of these regulations may cause some initial adjustments, and some capital costs for owners of multifamily housing units, but in the long run, we'll all be better for it. With smoking units eventually sequestered, the hope is that eventually, their numbers will dwindle. But until then, nonsmokers shouldn't have to deal with cancer-causing secondhand smoke in the privacy of their own homes.

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