18 California Cities, Counties Ban Smoking in Apartments, Condos

November 20, 2012 - 12:25 PM
Anti-Smoking Recession

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2007 file photo, Omaha resident Charlie Waters has a cigarette in Omaha, Neb. The recession is having an effect on anti-smoking advertisements and and other smoking cessation programs as recession-battered states lack the funds to keep them going. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

(CNSNews.com) – Calling it “the next frontier in California’s ongoing efforts to protect its citizens from secondhand smoke,” the American Lung Association’s Center for Tobacco Policy and Organizing compiled a 2011 report on smoke-free housing policies and provided an update that shows 18 cities and counties in the state have banned smoking in multi-unit housing, including apartments and condominiums.

Thirteen cities and counties have banned smoking in all existing and new multi-unit housing, with five more doing so in 2012, according to the center. Thirteen of the cities listed in the report have placed a smoking ban on 100 percent of new and existing multi-unit housing.

Details on the five cities and counties to put smoking bans in place in 2012 – Marin County, Huntington Park, Sausalito, San Rafael and Santa Monica – are due out in the center’s 2012 report.

“Although California has made great progress in getting secondhand smoke out of workplaces, for the many Californians who live in multi-unit housing breathing secondhand smoke which drifts from neighboring units, balconies and outdoor areas has become a real health problem,” the introduction to the November 2011 report states.

In all, 33 California cities or counties are cited in the report for having some kind of smoking ban on multi-unit housing, ranging from a requirement that 75 percent of new and existing units of four or more be smoke free in Fairfax, to a requirement in Calabasas that landlords must prohibit smoking in 80 percent of their units.

Some other details in the report include a provision in the city of Belmont’s smoking ban: “For current tenants who smoke, there is a 14 month grace period during which time they are still allowed to smoke in their unit.”

Many of the cities and counties’ bans include declaring second-hand smoke a “public nuisance.”

The remaining 22 cities and counties in the report fall under the public multi-unit housing category.