NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


October 5, 2007

Lawmakers in two California cities -- Calabasas and Belmont -- are casting votes this month on unprecedented legislation that would widen a growing voluntary movement by landlords and resident associations to ban smoking inside apartments and condos, says USA Today.


  • In Calabasas, the City Council plans to vote on expanding its anti-smoking law to bar renters from lighting up inside existing apartments.
  • It would exempt current resident smokers until they moved but would require all new buildings with at least 15 units, including condos, to be smoke-free.
  • Similarly, the City Council of Belmont is scheduled to cast a final vote on a similar measure that won initial approval last week.
  • The ordinance, which applies to apartments and condos, would allow fines and evictions if neighbors complained and smokers didn't heed warnings.

Although tens of thousands of apartments and condos have gone smoke-free in the past five years, critics say the bans violate civil and personal property rights.  "You should be able to do as you wish in your own home," says Michon Coleman of the San Mateo County Association of Realtors.

Such criticism even prompted Oakland to remove a ban on smoking in new apartments and condos from an ordinance that barred lighting up in public places.

Source: Wendy Koch, "Two Calif. cities to vote on banning smoking in apartments," USA Today, Oct. 3, 2007.

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