Moving to Santa Monica? Better Quit Smoking Now!
Smokers: If you're thinking of moving to or within Santa Monica and you plan on renting your new pad, you might want to start stockpiling nicotine patches. Tuesday night, the City Council approved a new law that bans smoking for new tenants in apartments.
Oh, and if you already live in a rented SaMo apartment, you're going to have to "designate their apartments and condominiums smoking or lose the right to light up in their homes at all," according to the Santa Monica Daily Press.
The fact that the Council went with a "more restrictive" ordinance than originally suggested has come as a surprise to many in Santa Monica.
Though the idea is to protect all Santa Monica multi-unit housing dwellers from second hand smoke, some see the ordinance as a way of shaming smokers who opt to declare their current residence "smoking" and have that designation shared with their neighbors. Councilmember Kevin McKeown said making such a designation has a sort of scarlet letter factor: "It is the equivalent to tacking a 'big, yellow S' on a smoker's door," observed McKeown.
Others, however, believe it is time to stop protecting smokers.
This is part of a long-standing effort to legislate smoking in Santa Monica. In September 2010, a law went into effect that made it illegal to light up on all all private balconies, patios, porches, and decks within a 25-foot radius around all doors, windows, and vents, and also covers areas on neighboring properties also within 25 feet of doors, windows, and vents. Even then, that new law was on top of a prior ordinance that prohibits smoking in a number of public places in Santa Monica outside of homes.
Additionally, the City Council is being asked to determine a date upon which all rental apartment and condo units in Santa Monica be designated non-smoking.