Santa Monica News
SANTA MONICA—On October 23, Santa Monica joined the growing list of California cities which have passed ordinances concerning smoking on multi-unit residential properties such as condominiums and apartments. According to Santa Monica’s new ordinance, anyone living in such a residence must determine if they want their home to be a “smoking” or “non-smoking” residence. Moreover, any new resident of a condominium or apartment who moves into their home after November 22 will have their home automatically labeled as “non-smoking.”
Individuals who violate the ban can be subjected to civil action by anyone, not just neighbors. Those who do smoke in residences deemed “non-smoking” are liable for $100 in damages for the first offense, $200 for the third, and $500 for any subsequent violation within 1 year. However, according to the ordnance, any violation is not grounds for eviction.
Smoking in common areas is also banned according to the ordinance. Property owners or the homeowners association may, however, create a designated smoking area if it is in accordance to the city ordinance.
The ordinance claims that this might be just one remedy for a serious public health issue. It states that environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is the third leading cause of preventable death in the US—responsible for the deaths of over 52,000 non-smokers every year. According to the Center for Disease Control, nearly 300,000 children suffer from serious medical ailments due to ETS. The California Air Resources Board has also labeled ETS as a “toxic air contaminant.”
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