The West Hollywood City Council on Monday will consider enacting a ban on smoking and vaping inside new or newly leased apartments, a ban that already is getting some pushback from cannabis advocates.
The Council also will consider banning smoking and vaping in enclosed common areas of apartment and condo buildings and prohibiting smoking in parks. If approved, the proposal would have the city create a registry in which would be listed all apartments designated as non-smoking.
The proposed ban has been under discussion since 2017, when the city’s Rent Stabilization Commission recommended it. The City Council considered it in July of last year. A proposal on the March 16 agenda was put on hold until this coming Monday’s meeting.
In a memo to the City Council, the city’s Department of Public Works notes that the city prohibited smoking tobacco in outdoor dining areas and other public areas in 2011 and has taken steps to reduce the access of children to tobacco. Yet the city still has a low ranking from the American Lung Association.
“While the city earned a grade of “C” on overall tobacco on overall tobacco control, it earned an “F” on its smoke-free housing policies,” the memo says. “This is due to the absence of city policies regulating smoking in apartments, condominiums, or residential common areas.” The memo cites evidence that second-hand smoke has harmful health effects, causing heart attacks, lung cancer, and serious asthma issues.
The memo cites similar restrictions in other cities. One of the most restrictive is Beverly Hills. Beginning on Jan. 1, 2018, it prohibited smoking in all indoor and exterior common areas of multi-unit properties and inside all multi-family units, including condominiums. Tenants who smoked were given one year before the ban took effect on their units. The smoking regulations applied to tobacco smoke, electronic cigarettes/vaping devices, and cannabis smoke.
City Councilmember John Duran is questioning the ban because of its likely impact on those who smoke cannabis products. Duran has noted that under state law it is illegal to consume cannabis in public places. If the city were to ban smoking cannabis inside apartments or condos, “wouldn’t this amount to a ‘de facto’ ban on cannabis consumption citywide?” Duran has asked.
Published: July 28, 2020
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