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Does a Ban on Smoking in Home Go Too Far?

A Wisconsin housing complex has managed to snuff out smokers, thanks to a 15-4 vote among owners to ban residents from smoking in the homes they own. The president of the homeowners association explains that this "doesn't restrict a smoker from living here. It just means that there are restrictions on where they can smoke."

The housing development in question is made up of duplexes, so the health-conscious homeowners worry that smoke could spread to a connected home.

Do you think it's fair for neighborhood associations to ban smoking with a vote, or does prohibiting someone from lighting up in a private residence sound like the tyranny of nonsmokers?

Source: Flickr User The Very Page

Join The Conversation
dikke-kus dikke-kus 7 years
They can forget it. Buyers beware. If I ever became a state governor I would go after insurance companies and HOAs. They shouldn't be legal. I don't understand how developers ever started this idea and why homeowners buy into it. When I bought my first house I found a neighborhood without one. The hell I was going to tack on another $300 a month for an HOA. It's smarter to use that money yourself and fix your own problems. I know the argument is to have a nice neighborhood and a clean look, but I just can't get over the money part of it. No one takes my money and then puts it into a bank account and sits over it like their the president and then tells me what to do, and threatens me with it. NO WAY.
fcseamstress fcseamstress 7 years
Totally retarded. This can only get worse... Ex. So, since my neighbor has a cat, I'm allergic and our units are connected therefore I have breathing problems, could I ask that cats not be allowed? Put it up for a vote! I do understand that when you buy into an HOA you have to deal with it, but come on! This is over the edge.
ann418 ann418 7 years
So are these people just going to go outside to smoke, since they can't do it in their own houses? Then it effects everyone with their windows open. This is ridiculous.
ms-jamerz ms-jamerz 7 years
I'm not a smoker and I think if you're a home owner you should be able to do whatever you want in your own home. That being said, I believe if you have children smoking in your home or car whether the child is present or not should be banned.
oni1 oni1 7 years
if only that rule applied here. i hate waking up and going to bed to the smell of my neighbor's cigarette smoke wafting into my apartment.
Zivanod Zivanod 7 years
As much as I wish everyone would stop smoking, telling people they cannot smoke in their homes means they will smoke outside. I live in a townhouse and have neighbours that don't smoke in their units but step outside to do it. Thanks to their desire to keep their home "smoke-free", I have to keep my windows closed all year to keep their fumes out of my unit. So I would rather them actually keep their nicotine habits inside and leave me some fresh air.
staple-salad staple-salad 7 years
As an athesmatic who finds tobacco smoke (have no problem with "flavored" tobacco, hookas, cloves or pot smoke, to my knowledge): People should be allowed to smoke in their own homes, a member of a HOA or not. I'm betting anyone who smokes in that complex joined the HOA not thinking they'd ban smoking IN A HOUSE THEY BOUGHT. My main problem with this, however, lies with having lived in a "smoke free" dorm. And by "smoke free" I mean every doorway on my way to class, the sidewalk under my window (so the smoke wafted up) and every other way the residents could make me start to cough and have watery eyes was employed. By making people NOT able to smoke in their own homes, that just makes them go into areas where the smoke will be just as, if not more, damaging and irritating to other people. I mean, it's hard enough to get to class some days because of all the smokers, at least one of whom has blown it directly into my face, I can only imagine how much worse it would be if people had to go into those areas because of living off campus in a house that didn't allow them to smoke.
juicebox07 juicebox07 7 years
I don't necessarily think it's going too far depending on certain circumstances. My mom used to smoke in our old apartment and I saw what it did to the walls. It was nasty! Not to mention, my mom smoked inside all the time and the second hand smoke I've been breathing in my whole life has affected my health. I now have trouble breathing sometimes. Now that I'm old enough and pay half the rent, I make my mom smoke outside. That doesn't take back the damage already done to my lungs though.
Veka Veka 7 years
I totally agree with #9. Hit the nail on the head.
Ac2366 Ac2366 7 years
I'm not a fan of anyone telling me what I can or can't do in my own home. I lived in an apartment and the upstairs neighbor complained that smoke from my apartment was entering her apartment so I began smoking outside. After that she asked that I leave the property to smoke. It was never ending. I wouldn't smoke in my own home though because even though I occasionally smoke I hate the smell and I don't like all of my things to smell like cigarettes. That being said, I still won't stand for anyone telling me what I am allowed to do in a home that I own. I couldn't stand dealing with a HOA even though those neighborhoods always look so cute.
zuke zuke 7 years
Why would you want to smoke in your house anyway? When you go to sell it somewhere down the line, it'll be hard because it will stink. You would have to sell it to people who smoke or don't mind the smell or spend a ton of money getting rid of the stench.
starofsorrow starofsorrow 7 years
I don't smoke, but I would NEVER tell anyone to not smoke in their own homes. I currently live in a rental house with family, and two of them smokes. It's their home, and I did not tell them to not smoke. My only request was to NOT smoke in my room, and they have followed that request. It's a matter of respect. If you own a house, you should be able to do whatever you want IN the house. I thought HOAs was for outside of the house and neighborhood, not inside the houses themselves, anyways?
jth jth 7 years
Actually, I don't think any HOA says we reserve the right to restrict you from smoking in your house somewhere down the line. It does tell you that they have the right to make some restrictions but you can't know from the outset what those might be down the road. All it takes is for someone to make a motion and it to be supported and then it goes up for a vote. Some HOAs don't require a vote from the homeowners but rather the people that sit on the HOA board. Some restrictions are reasonable. Some are not. I don't think this one is reasonable. Like I said, lots of homes are covered by HOAs and in some cities it's hard to find a home that's not. And I think there are lots of legal things you can do that are bad for you but it's not my right to come into your home that you pay for and make you stop.
dani17731 dani17731 7 years
I think it's fair. Smokers will say it's infringing on their rights but this is actually for their own good. You shouldn't smoke anyway!
Chouette4u Chouette4u 7 years
"You can't know when you buy the house that people are going to intrude into your privacy." When you buy a house in a HOA, you get a bunch of paperwork regarding what the HOA can and cannot do. It's not like people are buying houses and then months down the line they suddenly discover they have a HOA. Like I said earlier, you have a choice whether or not you want to buy into a HOA governed property, so don't whine when said HOA makes rules or decisions you don't like.
robinlh912 robinlh912 7 years
I just gotta say I'm surprised that it's Eau Claire and not one of the Madison suburbs
jth jth 7 years
My question is, how far will this go? Lots of private homes complexes are covered by HOAs. They don't just cover condos either. Now they're saying that you can't smoke in your house, what if they decide you can't cook certain foods in your house? You can't know when you buy the house that people are going to intrude into your privacy. What's the point of owning a home if you can't decide what to do in it.
mediaddict000 mediaddict000 7 years
I think that is fine if the HOA wants to ban smoking. If you want to smoke, then you would have to move to a place where smoking is allowed. Makes perfect sense, especially for someone as allergic to cigarette smoke as I am. A smoke free community sounds perfect.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 7 years
If you're part of a home owners association or renting I don't think it's too much to ask. If you own your own home straight up with out the benefit of a Parliament to veto your every move then count your blessings.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
I'm with Chouette4u. A HOA has other restrictions, too, like for a owner's landscaping, exterior and interior design. The restrictions are spelled out in the CC&R's. This is why my husband and I NEVER considered buying a condo or townhouse. I want more freedom (legally) when it comes to our residence. This is why we purchased a single family house in an area with relatively lax restrictions. I could paint my house bright orange if I wanted to, and landscape any way I wish. :)
margokhal margokhal 7 years
This is why you should seriously consider a homeowner's association when you are purchasing a house/property. HOA's, if your community is a part of one, can be very helpful or a big boon, depending. Whatever the HOA says goes - period. If you don't like it, move. They've had some cases in my area where it's actually written into the contract that should you not be able to keep up with the mortgage on your home, the HOA can take it from you. Read the fine print and know what they can and cannot do. That said, I do think this is reasonable besides the fact that it was instated by the community itself and the HOA only because these homes are connected. If there is ANY way that cigarette smoke can find its way from one house to another, then yes, it should be banned in each home, because it's a health hazard. Even if you own it - that still doesn't give you the right to endanger the health of others. And this ban was voted in by a pretty overwhelming majority (more than 75%). It's where your rights end and others' begin. If the duplexes had separate air filtering systems for each unit, then this wouldn't be a problem. If they don't, though, tough cookies.
fuzzles fuzzles 7 years
Seriously? If I OWN my home, I'll be damned who is going to tell me what legal behaviors I can or cannot partake in.
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