Put the kibosh on proposed smoker ban | AspenTimes.com

Put the kibosh on proposed smoker ban

Aspen’s P.C. police have crossed the line with their latest crusade to wipe out potential dangers to our health and safety.

We’re talking about the Centennial homeowners’ association, which is poised to ban people from smoking in the very condominiums they own.

At best, this idea appears to be a knee-jerk reaction after a cigarette that was left in a flower pot sparked a fire at the complex. No damage was done, but it happened to occur after the June 10 fire that destroyed a Castle Ridge apartment complex, where a cigarette had also been left smoldering in a flower pot.

Citing a person’s right to live in peace without worrying about a cigarette-sparked fire, some Centennial board members feel a ban is in order.

We believe this logic is terribly faulty, and much too heavy-handed.

Look no further than Wednesday’s house fire in Wingo Junction. The blaze broke out when a toddler apparently ignited a fireplace by accident. A mattress was leaning against the fireplace, and the end result was up to $250,000 in damages.

So should what should we outlaw: Toddlers? Fireplaces? Mattresses? Parents?

At worst, the Centennial ban would violate civil liberties, if enacted. It is one thing for a landlord to tell a tenant that he or she cannot smoke. It is quite another to tell a homeowner that smoking inside his or her property is illegal.

We’re also confused that in a city that claims to be a haven of tolerance, one cluster of residents is strongly considering a zero-tolerance policy regarding smokers. Regardless of how anyone might view the act of smoking, those who want to light up in the privacy of their own homes should be entitled to do that.

We urge the Centennial homeowners’ association to rethink its position before instituting this intrusive policy. To do otherwise would only set a precedent to ban anything that poses potential danger. And the possibilities for that are literally endless.

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