California city bans smoking and vaping in apartments

Originally published at:


“Shit, poor people are smoking and vaping their weed at home. How will we arrest them?”



Concord California isn’t the first city to do this. In Richmond California, the so called “progressive alliance” did it about 10 years ago.

It a “think of the children” thing


We had this discussion on another thread.

On one had it seems like bullshit.

On the other hand if you are constantly smelling your neighbors shit they are smoking, it may have a positive effect on your health.

If they had units that made it so your vapors didn’t disturb your neighbors, it wouldn’t be needed.


Exactly. Prohibiting smoking in public housing has been a long term goal of the healthy housing community and has nothing to do with classism or elitism. It’s about trying to ensure safe housing for people who have no choice about who they share a wall with.

Requiring sprinklers or smoke detectors isn’t classist or elitist.

To your point, though, I 100% agree: if they can install ventilation so your fumes are leaving the building w/o entering other people’s living space, that’s a game changer.

P.s. where was the other thread? I’d like to catch up on the discussion.


Everybody must get on board with this policy or they are standing in the way of achieving a glorious utopian future for the people of California.

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Here you go. :slightly_smiling_face:


Personally, I have no such faith in any institution that anything they do is actually ‘for the well being of people’; it sounds like yet another easy excuse to incarcerate poor people.


Just jumping in to agree 100%. As someone with a tobacco allergy who spent their PhD studying smoking related illnesses (lung cancer and COPD) I am particularly opinionated on the subject. Second hand smoke is no joke and people who want to be free of it should have the right to peaceful enjoyment of their homes regardless of income.

I have lived in many buildings where avoiding
second hand smoke is nearly impossible. With the legalization of weed this has only gotten more challenging as people smoke in public areas. (Note I am not commenting against the legality of weed itself). Thankfully I am fortunate enough to now live in a single family home, but not everyone is. I see legislation such as this as a net positive. IMHO people who choose to smoke should be the ones who have to find ways to do so without exposing others.


This is not a new thing in the Bay Area. San Rafael has had a ban for a few years.

“Smoking is prohibited in all of Downtown San Rafael, our parks and open space, and within any housing that shares a wall with another unit (apartments, condos and duplexes).”

And the ban includes vaping.

"“Smoking” means inhaling, exhaling, burning, or carrying any lighted, heated, or ignited cigar, cigarette, cigarillo, pipe, hookah, or electronic smoking device intended for human inhalation. "

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Yeah, I reread the original post, and I’m not sure either in this instance. But the National Center for Healthy Housing and the Green and Healthy Homes initiative, as well as WHO housing and health guidelines all recommend banning smoking in multi unit apartment buildings. It’s one of the best things property owners/managers can do in terms of reducing asthma attacks in young residents, which leads to reducing missed days of work for parents/caregivers, and lowering stress overall.

Thanks, @GulliverFoyle for the link to the other thread. People brought up good points.

Personally, I think this kind of rule makes sense for public housing where property owners are getting subsidized and people living there might be more vulnerable to IAQ issues. How to do this without further criminalizing the poor is something I need to think more on.

But if you own a market-rate property and want to let people smoke there, it does seem like overreach for the town to stop you.


Also, at the risk of pointing out the obvious, the classicism and thus racism isn’t in the ban itself, but in the structurally unequal way it, like most nuisance laws, fall on poorer demographics.


This ruling is only applied to apartment since applying to homes would bring lawsuits or court turmoil because of more laws that have passed prior. The apartment complexes assuredly have a lobby and got this through. The realtors lobby may be next to try if hoa can get there attention from eyesore flags, loud children or wth upsets the enforcer of the covenant.
I doubt the city wants apartments anyway. They want houses with more taxes but they deal. They pass laws in the same way managers try to b.s with thier employees to get a bigger bonus and never help the workers themselves.

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Exactly that.

Though I would change “vapors didn’t disturb” to “vapors didn’t poison” for those of us who have lived next to meth-cooking assholes.


This is where I get a little torn, though. Imagine you’re a low-income parent with an asthmatic child. What if the only housing you can afford allows smoking?
There’s a burden either way. :woman_shrugging:t2:



“This restriction applies to both interior and exterior areas (patios, balconies, decks, and porches) of rental and ownership housing types including: apartments, attached condominiums, and townhomes…The smoking ban went into effect on February 6, 2020 for new units, including new construction. For existing units, it will go into effect on January 1, 2021. Please see the Frequently Asked Questions section below for more information.”
[emphasis added]


Is it, though? Or is it perhaps more racist to deny people who can’t afford detached housing clean air?

When it comes to who’s rights should win in a contest over a shared resource vital to life and health like air I’m not going to side with the polluters. That would be way too Ayn Randian IMO.


Meh. I’d still vape and dab. No one would smell either.


Okay, well that’s some overreach, for sure. Outside spaces?

I smoke between 0 and 4 cigarettes a day. Smoking is a magical act of holding fire in one’s hand and communing with the sky (I’m exaggerating, but only a little). Smoking inside is gross. Smoking outside is fine. Smoking in an open garage on a rainy day is acceptable.

I once had a friend get scolded on a Portland sidewalk for smoking and he just looked around at all the idling traffic and said, “what about them?!?”

What about them, indeed.


I’ll disagree with you just a little on this one.

Car exhaust and second hand cigarette smoke are very different in terms of the health hazards and mechanisms. Yes neither are good for you but they are different and I think it is reasonable to not desire smoke exposure when trying to get around.

(Note heavy diesel is a different thing altogether and I am conveniently ignoring that)