Evansville's smoking ban in bars and restaurants, coupled with casino Aztar's exemption from the ban is an ongoing controversy. It seems that smoking bans are extending further and further and could be extending to your homes, thanks to a new ban in California that prohibits smoking in condominiums, duplexes, apartments and other multi-family homes. Recently, voters in San Rafael, CA unanimously voted in favor of the ban as they have in other California communities. Mayor Gary Phillips said, "We are happy to blaze a trail and we're happy to be in the forefront of the issue because we think it will greatly benefit our residents and those visiting San Rafael, and we think it will set the tone for other cities as well", which is the biggest fear in all all of this.

The tobacco-control experts predict this legislation could create a much larger movement throughout the country and this has a lot of people very concerned and extremely nervous. It also creates a much larger issue that goes way beyond the dangers of smoking and second-hand smoke.

At this point, let me say that I am a staunch non-smoker and fully support the Evansville smoking ban. In fact, I believe the current ban doesn't go far enough. That being said, even I am very concerned about the California ban because it allows government to regulating our personal lives and that scares me to death.

There are people in California who believe punishing people for what they do in their homes could be close to tyranny. We all know the effects of second-hand smoke and smoking in general. My own father died as a result of complications due to lung cancer treatments he was receiving, but this type of legislation, in my opinion, could be crossing a very delicate line.

The next time you drive around the Evansville area, take a look at the number of homes that would be affected by such a ban. We have a lot of apartments, duplexes, condominiums and other multi-family homes with shared walls that would be affected, not to mention what that could potentially cost landlords and sellers of these types of properties.

I live in a Downtown Evansville condominium development and there is no smoking allowed in the building or any of the units for that matter, but that is a requirement of the homeowners association for the building that was approved by all of the tenants. That's fine and acceptable, but an actual law that bans smoking in these places? Sounds like big time gray area to me. Again, this goes beyond the smoking issue.