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

Santa Clara makes apartments, condos smokefree

Three cheers to Santa Clara County, Calif., which just passed a law making apartments and condos smokefree. The law also applies to outdoor eating areas of restaurants and common areas of multiunit dwellings, the San Jose Mercury-News reports.

This is huge; the county is one of just a handful of jurisdictions, all of them in California, to do so. According to a representative of the American Lung Association in California, others include Belmont, Richmond, Sebastopol, Pinole, Pleasant Hill, and Contra Costa County.

Union City, also in California, has given preliminary approval to a similar proposal. A final vote is scheduled for Nov. 23.

Why is this a big deal? Too many nonsmokers are being sickened by secondhand smoke coming from neighboring units. They shouldn’t have to deal with that.

At Smokefree DC, we get a steady stream of calls and emails from people who live in apartments or condos and who are subjected to secondhand smoke from a neighbor. One person we are trying to help now believes she is allergic to the smoke and wakes up in the middle of the night coughing. We would say – and obviously local governments are increasingly agreeing – that the nonsmokers’ right to breathe clean air trumps the smokers’ right to smoke.

Let’s hope more governments get on board.

1 comment to Santa Clara makes apartments, condos smokefree

  • Leena

    I stay at Trellis Square in Sunnyvale in CA. My neighbor downstairs smokes in his patio and my apartment smells out of cigarette smoke. I have complained in the leasing office but they state that they only prohibit in common areas and the tenant is free to smoke in his patio.

    Does the local laws help me in this situation, forbidding / preventing my neighbor to smoke in his patio ?


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