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Smoking ban could bring problems

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 7:27 am
by Hanna
Smoking ban could bring problems
Other California cities are looking into ordinances requiring smoke-free apartments.
By CATHY TRAN IRVINE WORLD NEWS
10/11/07

At least two Irvine City Council members have not warmed up to the idea of banning smoking in apartments, a move that other California cities are considering.

In an effort to mitigate the effects of second-hand smoke, the Calabasas City Council on Monday night discussed the possibility of regulating smoking inside apartments. At least two other California cities, Belmont and Oakland, have had the same idea on their radar.

Calabasas’ ordinance is in preliminary stages and the council has not voted on the issue, said Michael Hafken, a spokesman for the city. But one possibility that’s being tossed around, said Hafken, is designating a certain percentage of units in an apartment complex to be smoke-free.

The city of Irvine has gone a step above state smoking bans, having passed an ordinance in February to ban smoking in all public parks. But will all apartments be next?

“It would be very difficult to enforce,” Mayor Beth Krom said. “I’m not sure I want to create the kind of community in which people are inclined to see the actions of people in private environments as being illegal or in need of correction.”

Krom acknowledges that such regulations can reduce fire risks, but added that “frying chicken could be a fire hazard. Overloading an electrical outlet can be a fire hazard.”

Councilman Steven Choi said that it may be worthwhile to gather scientific data on how much second-hand smoke travels from one apartment to another and the effects of that amount of smoke.

“At this point, I don’t have any strong (position) for or against a measure,” Choi said, referring to smoking bans for apartments.

Both Krom and Choi said they are not aware of any previous attempts to prohibit smoking in Irvine apartments.