Smoking Ban for Apartment Dwellers

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This kind of thing doesn't usually bother me too much, but even I'm wondering if the smoking ban coming to Belmont, California, goes too in the tension between your right to make decisions for yourself and my right not to be harmed by your decisions.

From "Smoking ban looms for Belmont apartment dwellers" by Steve Rubenstein in the SF Chronicle:

Belmont apartment dwellers who like to light up in their homes have 14 months to kick the habit, work out a compromise with their nonsmoking neighbors or get out of town.

Under the city's new smoking ban, among the toughest in the nation, apartment residents whose secondhand smoke invades their neighbors' units will be subject to fines of as much as $1,000.

The measure, which the City Council enacted Tuesday on a 3-2 vote, bans smoking in multiunit dwellings as well as in parks, outdoor restaurants and other public places. The apartment provision takes effect around New Year's 2009, while lighting up elsewhere is banned as soon as the law officially takes effect in about a month.

Hardly a loophole exists for Belmont denizens hooked on the weed. For example, the new law allows an actor to smoke onstage during the performance of a play - but only if smoking is an "integral part of the story."

The city says the tenant smoking ban will be enforced only if neighbors complain. It's believed to be the first such law in the country.


Seems reasonable and necessary to me.....if your smoking creates smoke in my apartment causing my asthmatic child to suffer then that's a real problem. Second hand smoke is a proven health hazard, its not just an annoyance.

I have to say I think it sounds reasonable too. There have been times when we've smelled cigarette smoke in our apartment that had to be coming from some other apartment. I have to say I found it very annoying that their bad habit was coming into my private home. While I have strong sympathy for those trying to quit, I don't think their smoke should be allowed in my apartment and to affect my family.