Smokefree DC is a citizen-based group whose goal is to promote smokefree environments in Washington, DC.

Santa Monica says no smoking near apartments

Santa Monica’s City Council is forging ahead in protecting residents from secondhand smoke. The Council has passed a measure making apartment balconies and patios smokefree.

The new law makes areas within 25 feet of doors and windows of multi-unit buildings smokefree, the Santa Monica Daily Press reports. The city has already made outdoor dining areas and beaches smokefree.

The idea is to ensure that smoke coming from balconies and patios doesn’t drift into the homes of nonsmokers — a very real problem.

The concept of making areas of apartments and condos smokefree is controversial but really shouldn’t be. After all, condos and apartment buildings have all kinds of rules about noise (don’t have band practice at 2 a.m.), cooking odors (don’t stink the place up) and nuisances (don’t do anything that drives your neighbors batty). Smoking creates secondhand smoke, a health hazard, and apartment managers and condo boards have just as much right to regulate it as anything else.

In fact, it is legal to declare entire buildings smokefree — that is, to say no one can smoke on the premises, including in their apartments.

Just as it is now standard for restaurants and bars to be smokefree, one day, multi-unit dwellings will be smokefree too. It’s not that radical a concept.

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