Alameda County Bans Smoking in Multi-Unit Residences

A man sitting in a street smoking in Auckland, New Zealand, Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021. New Zealand’s government believes it has come up with a unique plan to end tobacco smoking, a lifetime ban for those aged 14 and under. (AP Photo/David Rowland)

Alameda County passed legislation making it illegal to smoke in multi-unit apartment complexes located in the county’s unincorporated areas, leading to a passionate debate.

After three years of discussion, starting July 1, smoking will not be allowed in:

  • Apartments
  • Townhomes
  • Condominiums
  • Senior assisted living
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Hotels
  • Any residence with two or more units
  • Common outdoor and indoor areas
  • 25 feet of any residence opening – like a door or window

“I represent some of the most at-risk residents of our County, with shorter life expectancies, poorer health outcomes and higher rates of asthma and other respiratory challenges,” District 4 Supervisor Nate Miley said in a statement. “Today’s action represents a collaboration between advocates, community members, health experts and property owners and is one step closer to cleaner air in our homes.”

The ordinance was passed in hopes of preventing secondhand smoke, especially now that people spend a significant amount of time at home due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Today’s passage of the multi-unit smoke free ordinance sends a powerful message to our unincorporated community that their health and wellbeing are of the utmost importance to the County,” District 3 Supervisor Dave Brown said in a statement. “As we continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, I appreciate the work of our Public Health Department to help ensure the safety of our residents during this difficult time.”

Individuals in violation of the ordinance will receive three notices from the county’s public health department before being fined from $100 to $500. Additionally, residents with three warnings and three fines are subject to eviction from their landlord.

Should government regulate the legality of smoking on property?

Listen to John Rothmann debate the topic with listeners. If you missed the live debate, share your opinion with John on KGO 810’s Facebook  or Twitter page.

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