San Francisco Considers $1,000 Fines for People Smoking Tobacco or Cannabis in Their Apartments
San Francisco politicians are considering yet another policy that would harm renters while infringing on property rights: a ban on smoking inside private apartment buildings.
On Thursday, a committee of the city’s Board of Supervisors voted to advance a bill that would ban smoking inside private dwellings located in apartments with three or more units. The San Francisco Examiner reports that the restrictions would apply not just to tobacco products, but also to smoking marijuana and even to vaping.
The goal, according to bill sponsor Supervisor Norman Yee, is to protect nonsmoking apartment dwellers from the fumes of their inconsiderate neighbors.
“I’m proud to help residents avoid being exposed to secondhand smoke in their own homes,” Yee tweeted when he introduced the bill last week. “Smoke easily moves between units and buildings. Now that more of us work from home, it’s more important than ever because there is no way to contain it.”
San Francisco currently bans smoking in the enclosed common areas of multi-unit buildings. Yee’s proposal extends this to the interiors of those buildings’ private homes, as well as to balconies and patios.
The bill would allow the city’s Department of Public Health to fine offenders up to $1,000, although the Examiner reports that they would first receive warnings. Violating this ban would not be grounds for eviction, according to the bill’s text.
During the first year of the ban, the Department of Public Health would also be required to run a “multilingual and culturally responsive public information campaign to raise awareness of the smoking prohibition and cessation resources.”
Sixty-three California cities have implemented similar bans
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