Over the years, we have seen smoking rules change. While it depends on the state’s laws, in many areas, people are no longer allowed to light up in restaurants, office buildings and other public areas. California was the first state in the U.S. to enforce a smoking ban in enclosed spaces in 1995, and now a new smoking ban has been added to that list: apartments.
Beginning in May 2014, renters will be able to smoke inside the units of multifamily housing developments in Berkeley, California. That includes individual apartments and condos as well as common areas. Each renter’s lease will have a non-smoking clause added to it so that they’re familiar with the rules of the housing development.
If someone ignores this new law, the city sends out a letter warning the smoker to put a halt to smoking inside the apartment building. After two more complaints, that person will get a ticket.
This ban largely aims to positively impact the health of nonsmokers who are exposed to unwanted smoke. One Berkeley apartment resident, Carol Denney, complained of the chain smokers who lived next door to her. She is a cancer patient who was constantly breathing in their secondhand smoke.
Apartments and condos aren’t the only areas where the city is coming down on smokers. The habit has been banned at grocery stores, bars, parks, restaurants and other public places. In fact, smokers have to be at least 25 feet away from a public building when they light up.
While the enforcement division in Berkeley plans on extending the ban to single-family homes, right now they’re just focusing on the multifamily units.
What do you think of this smoking ban, renters? Sound off in the comments.