Two fires in one month in a Bellevue, Nebraska, apartment building led the city council to consider banning smoking in apartments. But by a 5-to-1 vote on Sept. 26, the council rejected the apartment smoking ban on the grounds of potential enforcement problems, infringement of property rights and city intrusion in residents private lives.
Bellevue Councilman Don Preister proposed the ban in August after two fires erupted in July at a single apartment community as a result of cigarette smoking. The second fire destroyed the building and injured four people.
The federal government bans smoking in public housing, and a handful of California cities do not allow smoking inside apartments.
The primary goal of the proposed apartment smoking ban in Bellevue, a city of 50,000 near Omaha, was to prevent fires, not to protect residents health.