Californians are famously hostile towards smokers. The Golden State was the first in the nation to institute a statewide ban on smoking in enclosed spaces in 1995 and since then, these laws have been strengthened by both state and local leaders.
Berkeley City Councilman Jesse Arreguin doesn’t think that laws have gone far enough and is asking his fellow councilmembers to expand smoking bans to include single-family homes with children, seniors or lodgers.
The ban would exempt e-cigarettes and in true Berkeley fashion, the use of marijuana.
The American Lung Association reports that to their knowledge, no such law exists.
According to the SF Gate, “Cigarette smoking is already prohibited in Berkeley’s commercial districts, parks and bus stops, and within 25 feet of any building open to the public, and the council plans to extend the ban to all apartments, condominiums and other multiunit buildings where secondhand smoke can spread.”
UC Berkeley has also adopted stricter smoking standards. Starting in January, smoking will be prohibited from all UC property—including campus, the dorms, stadiums and the famous People’s Park.
Some councilmembers are hesitant about the idea.
“Our enforcement division is so overwhelmed right now. I think it would be very difficult to add more to their list,” stated Councilwoman Susan Wengraf. “I smoked for 10 years. It’s not easy to quit. I feel for these smokers.”
Earlier this year, Assemblyman Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) introduced a bill that would prohibit smoking inside any multiunit residence where housing units hare walls, floors, ceilings or ventilation systems. The failed bill would have included apartments and condos, but not freestanding single-family homes.
In October of last year, Levine’s home city of San Rafael passed a similar ban barring smoking in duplexes, condos and a variety of other multi-family homes. The ban made San Rafael the ninth city in the state to enact such an ordinance.
Read more at the SF Gate.