The whole San Antonio Housing Authority smoking ban, that is…
The (SA Housing Authority — ed.) ban makes perfect sense. The smoke’s toxicity seeps through walls and stealthily creeps through vents, making its way from unit to unit; that’s why many housing authorities have smoking bans. And landlords — in this case, the state — have the power to put the brakes on activities that erode valuable property it has a responsibility to upkeep. Over time, cigarette smoke stains walls and leaves a grimy film on every surface from the kitchen counter to the windowsills. The residents of these facilities really don’t need any more blight.
The ban makes sense. And yet, something creepy peeks through the haze of this smoky story.
Those affected are the poorest members of our community. There is the line of thinking that those who don’t own their homes don’t have the right to do as they wish where they hang their hat.
I really don’t see how the San Antonio Housing Authority’s decision to ban smoking in its units is a nanny-state move. If they want to maintain the value of the units, in fact, I’d say it’s a pretty smart move. And hel-lo! Those who don’t own their homes don’t have the right to do as they wish because — wait for it — it’s someone else’s property. We rent, and our landlord specified no pets in the lease, and you know what? Them’s the breaks. Why? Because it’s his property. He has the right to whatever stipulations within reason that he wishes to put on renting it. If we want to get a pet, hey, we’re gonna have to go somewhere else. But it’s just one of those things we accept and move on.
I do find Maria Anglin’s focus on the ban’s effect on the poor to be quite unnerving. One gets the idea that she’d be perfectly fine with tony apartment owners imposing smoking bans, because hey, it’s a thumb in the eye of those eeeevil rich folk. (For the record, I’d be fine with that smoking ban too, for the same reason I don’t see a problem with SAHA’s ban.) I don’t see why the poor should get special treatment here.