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Smokers, You May As Well Just Forget Spending Time in Santa Monica, Period

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The smoking ban in Santa Monica could soon take its hold on even more areas, with pending restrictions for lighting up in apartment buildings and in new hotels.

"The City Council directed staff Tuesday to prepare ordinances banning smoking in all newly-constructed hotels and requiring landlords to designate apartments in multi-family buildings as either smoking or non-smoking units," explains the The Lookout News.

So far, it's already illegal to smoke in Santa Monica on apartment balconies and porches, in common areas, and within 25 feet of doors, windows, and vents.

Tensions are inherent between civil rights advocates who believe smoking in a private home should not be regulated, versus health advocates who continue to impress upon lawmakers that second hand smoke is dangerous and should be regulated.

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A further concern would be the rights of smokers who are seeking housing in the area. "The vast majority of smokers come from low-income households, which, [a] staff report notes, may lead to a disproportionate impact of smoking restrictions on poorer people."

The solution for smokers affected by the ban, say some: Just step outside to smoke. Of course, some who spoke publicly at this week's meeting reportedly advocated banning smoking outdoors.

The Santa Monica City Council is expected to take up the issue again soon.