In what some are calling the toughest ban in the nation, Belmont, a city of 26,000 located midway between San Francisco and San Jose, is pushing regulations on smoking a big step further by banning the practice in certain private residences.
The city council has passed an ordinance prohibiting puffing inside apartments and condominiums. However, the smoking police will not be kicking in doors looking for smokers lighting up in dark corners of their units. According to the wording of the ordinance, it will only be enforced if neighbors complain. The proposal had been considered in a public hearing in August, received final approval by the council yesterday and will go into effect communitywide in 14 months. The measure will also extend existing indoor regulations in most public spaces, including restaurants and taverns, to outdoor venues, such as parks, stadiums and open-air shopping centers. These prohibitions will take effect in 30 days.
Another California community, Calabasas, a town made famous for banning outdoor smoking last year, had considered similar legislation last week in council sessions, but no vote was taken.
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