Should smoking be banned in apartments?

Being a smoker in California just got a little tougher. County supervisors in Marin have passed a new ordinance that bans smoking in apartments and condominiums.


The new rule will affect complexes located in unincorporated areas of Marin County. Marin itself was recently named the healthiest county in California by a report from the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

While some may find the ordinance bizarre, it’s actually not the first of its kind. Could a similar ban be coming to your town?

It’s certainly a possibility, especially if you live in California. Contra Costa County recently passed its own home smoking ban. Its rule prohibits residents from lighting up if they live in a building with four or more units.

In addition, three other California cities-Pinole, Pleasant Hill, and Richmond-also have similar restrictions on their books.

As attitudes on health continue to evolve, smoking has become more and more frowned upon. For instance, in Corte Madera, Calif. its town council recently added the town’s parks to the list of places where smoking is prohibited. In San Francisco, puffing a cigarette in many public areas is next to impossible without breaking the city’s laws.

But it’s not just California that’s been cracking down on smoking. The majority of states have laws at either the state or local level that ban smoking in many public places. And the restrictions seem likely to continue to grow as time goes on.

So what does this mean for landlords, tenants, and owners of condos? Well if you’re a smoker, the prognosis doesn’t appear to be good. While there isn’t much discussion among other states about banning smoking in apartments, that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. However, for nonsmokers, this trend appears to be in your favor.

Author: Edward Tan, JD,