With the passage of bans on smoking in apartments in at least one California city, the creation of smoke-free residential zones under consideration in Boston and an activist push for a statewide requirement for smoke-free apartment buildings in Washington state, a major battle is looming on the horizon between smokers and non-smokers. Supporters of such restrictions argue that apartment dwellers should be afforded the same choice of a smoke-free home that single-family homeowners enjoy. Opponents respond by asserting a right to privacy to do whatever they wish in their apartment unit since it is just as much a home as a detached house.
The irony here is we have competing claims to the right to privacy in one's home on the same facts. The courts should have a grand time with this one!