Cigar Aficionado

California Bill Would Ban Smoking in Some Homes

The right to light up at home is in jeopardy for some California cigar smokers as a bill that would ban smoking in multifamily dwellings is gaining traction in the state's Assembly.

Introduced by Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-San Rafael, AB 746 seeks to amend the current state smoking ban by adding language that would prohibit smoking any type of tobacco product inside any residential property that contains "two or more units with one or more shared walls, floors, ceilings, or ventilation systems." In other words, apartment buildings, townhouses and condominiums would fall under the new legislation.

If the bill were to pass, the only smoking permitted in a multifamily dwelling would be in designated areas at least 20 feet away from the residential units. Additionally, designated smoking areas would have to be clearly marked and at least 100 feet away from areas primarily used by children and those that "facilitate physical activity including playgrounds, swimming pools, and school campuses."

The bill states that violators of the new rules would receive a written warning for a first offense, a fine of up to $100 for a second offense and a fine up to $200 for a third violation.

For some California residents, though, violating the proposed legislation could lead to eviction from their residence. In cities such as Santa Monica, rental laws ensure renters can only be evicted from their homes with just cause.

Violating the new smoking measure would legally be a criminal infraction, hence enough just cause to be evicted. For this reason, Santa Monica City Council is opposing the bill as it is currently written.

Glynn Loope, executive director of the Cigar Rights of America, called the proposal "totally unnecessary and another example of nanny-state government," as landlords already have the authority to ban smoking on their own property.

"Assemblyman Levine obviously has no respect for private property rights, by this attempt to criminalize the use of legal tobacco products within the confines of a home," said Loope. "There are cases where citizens have actually confronted homelessness over regulations such as this."

Levine's bill was actually defeated in a 5 to 2 vote when it was first read in the Committee of Housing and Community Development. However, the bill has since been resurrected.

"Second hand smoke is hazardous to health. Proposed ban is obviously due to complains of non-smokers who are forced to breathe 2nd hand smoke from selfish smokers who care more about their "rights" than about impact of your actions on those around you. Do you realize if you smoke in an apartment, that people around you have to breath your 2nd hand smoke shit, perhaps for years because nobody can easily move out. And you cowardly hiding behind references to "Big Brother", taxation, gun rights, etc... Pathetic, infantile crowd, sorry. " —January 10, 2015 23:24 PM
"The USA: Where you can't smoke a cigar, but CAN smoke a gun... Insane..." —July 19, 2013 12:16 PM
"What's worse than these stupid smoking bans is that the Left Wing is planning on allowing illegals to become American citizens. No matter how they try to make it sound appealing, their plans are to bring a voting block into the Democratic side of voters. That will insure more Left Wingers in office to take away our rights. Don't be fooled, that's their goal, win more elections and take away our rights. Turning George Washington's America into a Socialist state is what's coming if we don't stop it now." —June 16, 2013 01:03 AM
"I WAS a loyal camacho smoker, within the last 2 years the cigar is no longer what it was. These big company types are clueless, I would have bought the Camacho by the bundle and would have been quite content. The packaging looks horrible, and frankly turns a real cigar smoker (pre-boom years back) off. Price and quality is where its at, not gimicky packaging. Davidoff probably intentionally is destroying Camacho, as it WAS much better than any of Davidoff's over priced garbage." —June 14, 2013 19:28 PM
"This is really insane. I am tired of this constant government intrusion in my life. Buzz off , Levine" —June 10, 2013 11:47 AM
"6/5/13, All this isn't about smoking at all. It has more to do with a platform by which to exert greater control over the populace. NJ's acting Gov. Dick Cody signed a smoke ban in 2006. Gov't does what nobody else does:bans & taxes a product simultaneously. When these hacks couldn't mesh smoking w/health, they had to invent something to bridge the gap: "2nd hand" smoke. " —June 5, 2013 23:57 PM
"Just called my congress rep Ed Royce of Diamond Bar,CA to make known that I want him to not support this smoking ban! You want something done get out and make your voices heard." —June 5, 2013 19:42 PM
"This is already in effect in Belmont, Ca. If I smoke any where in my apartment. Inside or out on my balcony, it is a violation of my lease and I will be thrown out. FYI, so is using a non gas grill." —June 5, 2013 14:15 PM
"This really sucks. I hate liberalism in all it's forms. " —June 5, 2013 11:19 AM
"Liberal thinking at it's best! Hey Assemblyman Marc Levine now I know your name come re-election time, STOP trying to save me from myself...When will you learn you simply don't know what's best for other people!!" —June 5, 2013 10:31 AM
"Right on Gary! What's next? No fast food in our homes? No TV after 11:00pm? It's a slippery slope guys. Big brother has their foot on our throats all in the name of "What is best for us"." —June 5, 2013 09:31 AM
"Come on guys...they know what's better for us, than US! Complete lunacy in that state. And the only reason they get away with all this crazy stuff is that most of their fellow CA Politicians are over zealous lunatics as well. They choke Freedom like it's of no consequence and do so in the name of..."Our Children". Give them an inch (initial smoking ban) and they'll take a mile." —June 5, 2013 08:45 AM
"When you invite a law that tells you as a business owner that you can't allow smoking, this isn't a surprising turn. If you don't like smoke, don't go places that allow it. It should always be choice. Thanks big brother, arsehole." —June 5, 2013 01:39 AM
"As a resident of California, this is embarrassing. I'm all for the smoking ban in bars/restaurants, but this is some bullshit. Really, really, REALLY aggravating." —June 5, 2013 00:32 AM
"When San Francisco passed the law against smoking in bars I did note that the fine for smoking a cigarette was $5 more than the fine for smoking a joint. So if you're caught smoking tell the officer it's weed and save yourself a fiver." —June 4, 2013 22:07 PM
"As a resident of California I must tell you (as an aside, I have nothing against homosexuals, I am only trying to demonstrate the absurdity of the state laws); before too long it will be easier and more acceptable for my neighbor to smoke his boyfriend's pole, than it will be for me to smoke a cigar. " —June 4, 2013 20:41 PM
"That which is insane, California!" —June 4, 2013 19:28 PM
"Interesting that it doesn't address pot smoking." —June 4, 2013 17:31 PM