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Santa Monica Cancels Its Apartment Smoking Ban

Apartment smoking ban fails to pass its required second reading when two Santa Monica Councilmembers reverse their earlier votes.

West Hollywood residents have thanks to an ordinance the City Council passed in November.

In Santa Monica, city officials were set to go the that would require smokers to register with their landlord and the landlords to distribute a map to where smokers live to all residents in the complex.

However, the Santa Monica City Council unexpectedly After passing the ordinance on a 4-2 vote at its July 10 meeting, the ordinance failed to its required second reading before becoming law.  

Mayor Richard Bloom and City Councilmember Terry O'Day both supported the ordinance at the July 10 meeting, but changed their votes citing the need for more information about how the law would affect medical marijuana users and landlords.

"I have some concerns about this ordinance as we adopted it and include some of the issues that have been raised to me after-the-fact about medical marijuana users," said O'Day.

"I think the council and the ultimate decision-making will benefit from future discussion regarding medical marijuana," said Bloom.

The Los Angeles Times criticized the Santa Monica ban in an editorial, saying it went too far. “It makes sense to prohibit smoking in restaurants, malls and workplaces, where an individual choice creates a collective health problem,” said the Times editorial, dated July 22. “But it's an entirely different matter to regulate a person's legal behavior inside his own home. Smoking may be a nasty habit, but it's not criminal.”

Santa Monica Councilmember Bobby Shriver, who was pushing for the ban, responded with a letter to the editor saying the ban would have helped nonsmoking residents who would “live in their units free of the fear, and the health risk, that a heavy smoker will move in next to them.”

West Hollywood, a city founded on tenants’ rights, passed its ordinance protecting apartment smokers as a preemptive action to a state law that went into effect on Jan. 1 which allows landlords to declare individual units or entire complexes as non-smoking. The West Hollywood City Council feared landlords would use that new law as a tool to evict smokers from rent-controlled units.

According to a 2010 report compiled the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, 10.7% of Santa Monica residents smoke, compared to 19.6% of West Hollywood residents. In Los Angeles County, 14.6% of residents smoke. 

What do you think of this decision? Tell us in the comments section.

Rudolf Martin August 02, 2012 at 07:09 PM
'joninla': weho has already done what you suggest.
James F. Mills August 02, 2012 at 08:09 PM
Yes, Weho already has that exact law in place. Can't be evicted for smoking in your apartment. http://westhollywood.patch.com/articles/bill-would-protect-renters-who-smoke-from-threat-of-eviction
Eugene Casasanta August 06, 2012 at 12:36 AM
New york city mayor is trying to ban the sale of soft drinks larger than 14 oz because they are fattening. Restaurants are being made to use certain cooking oils. Smoking is banned in bars, restaurants, public transportation, malls etc..and now the gestapo is trying to regulate what you legally can do in your home. Think about it it people..."In Germany they came first for the communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up". This country was founded upon the principle that all men are created equal and have certain inalienable rights among which are: life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I served my country and I'll be damned if I will bow to these "left wing, pinky waving communist coc- - s--c---kers. I don't smoke but if I did, I would gladly give the santa Monica City council the one finger wave. Enough is enough, it's time to start protesting these stupid laws that do nothing more than take away more of your liberties.
scott ferguson August 06, 2012 at 02:45 AM
Most of these proposals (not the billionaire pro-capitalist Mayor of NYC's soda ban) are made to protect the freedoms of others. Smoking causes cancer. If someone wants to smoke in his own home which they own, fine (although exposing children to it and hurting them might be an issue), But it is my freedom that is infringed upon if I have to inhale second-hand smoke. So this is not an issue of freedom vs freedom, it is one about conflicts between freedoms. And if what you do infringes on my freedom (that is, to break without inhaling tobacco smoke), the I believe that trumps the other person's freedom. This has nothing to do with being communist or left wing. These laws aren't stupid. They defend freedom.
scott ferguson August 06, 2012 at 02:51 AM
ugh, need to proofreed "not an issue between freedom and taking away freedon" "to breath without inhaling tobacco smoke"

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