Re: Smoking Policies
From: Kay Argyle (
Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2011 16:20:55 -0800 (PST)
"... as smoking becomes increasingly unpopular and uncommon [a no-smoking
policy limiting potential buyers] becomes less and less of a meaningful

As smoking becomes increasingly unpopular and uncommon, the no-smoking
policy becomes a positive sales point.

Our policy prohibits smoking inside the common house and workshop, on the
central path (and thus front yards), and on the patio and lawn. Smoking is
okay in the parking lots, on the common house back porch, and inside and
behind private units (where it easily drifts in the next unit's windows
...). I don't believe the policy mentions the garden either way, but I've
heard residents cite it as a no-smoking area when orienting new residents or
visitors. I'm not about to correct them. ;)

To help visitors know your policy, and remind residents if need be, put
no-smoking decals on your common house doors.

Specifically include incense in your policy, to avoid special pleading that,
because you don't suck air through the stick or cone, it isn't smoking. Or
that it is a "spiritual practice", the justification a couple of our
residents offered. If you want to burn incense -- or have peyote-induced
hallucinations, or read scriptures aloud, or handle poisonous snakes, or
require a wall between the dinner table and where alcohol is poured "to
protect the children" -- fine, do it in the privacy of your own home, not in
the common house.

"What about associations that prohibit watching commercial television; or
drinking soda; or engaging in hanky-panky?"

Your soda consumption doesn't erode my teeth or raise my blood sugar. Your
sexual preferences become my business only if you are asking me to join you.
Commercial TV viewing may make you a less interesting conversationalist, but
otherwise does me no harm (although a parallel could be drawn between
second-hand smoke and quoting Fox News). 

On the other hand, I might put smoking more in the category of taking up
burking as a hobby. Cigarette smoke lingering on someone's clothing triggers
my bronchitis. Once I've fled the vicinity, and the panicky feeling of two
or three hippopotamuses sitting on my chest eases, I can look forward to
coughing for the next eight hours.

"As a cohousing development partner, I also have enough influence to keep
... coal fired SUV's out of our parking lots."

Given the percentage of electricity supplied by coal-fired plants, electric
cars might be regarded as indirectly coal-fired. (Yes, I realize that
pollution, including CO2, from a large stationary point source like a power
plant is far more easily controlled than that from many small mobile sources
like vehicles.)

We have a bylaw against unregistered or nonrunning vehicles being kept on
the property. Are they more harmful to society than an SUV driven only to
and from the office or grocery store? 

Disclosure: I own an elderly four-wheel-drive 3/4-ton pickup with lousy gas
mileage -- because a pair of llamas won't fit in the backseat of the Mazda,
and I refuse to emulate Romney by loading my boys on the luggage rack. The
Chev comes out only when a smaller vehicle won't serve, seldom enough that
trip planning includes "Put battery charger on truck."

Wasatch Commons
Salt Lake City

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