San Francisco bans smoking tobacco in apartments, weed A-OK

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I’m not a big fan of smoking, but this is a serious case of overreach.

If a landlord wants to ban smoking, they can put it in the lease.

This seems to me to violate someone’s right to privacy.


This is the second most west coast thing I have ever heard.

The first of course being, a coworker from Sacramento telling me his $1200 coffee machine was a smart investment, because otherwise he and his wife would spend $300 at Starbucks every month.


If the smoke stayed in the apartment, I’d agree. But, does it? (which is exactly why I think there shouldn’t be any exemptions)

How is this any different than noise ordinances, as far as privacy is concerned?


I dunno about the smoke, but the smell of weed definitely travels. Pre-pandemic it was almost every day from one or both of my neighbors. I don’t care what people do, but fucking shit that smell gets annoying fast.

No idea if tobacco smoke would be as prevalent to neighbors. I’d say “maybe”.

Legalize weed and then make hybrids that smell less. For science.


I kinda also blame anti-tobacco ads for this sort of stuff. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come across people who think weed smoke is “safer” in some way because tobacco kills and they add ‘chemicals’ that get in the smoke and kill you.

Anytime you burn organic plant matter you are going to create compounds that carcinogenic. Part of the problem is there haven’t been that many high quality long term studies on it because you know weed is illegal in most places.


If tenants can smell their neighbors smoking, then the problem is substandard housing. The Board of Supervisors could address that, but they’ve shown little interest in addressing the housing shortage. Sounds to me like a board member shares a leaky wall with their neighbor.


Good luck making apartments from the 70s or 80s hold in cooking/weed smells. :confused:


Don’t get me wrong, I dislike the smell of cigarettes and when I lived in apartments I made it a point to rent non-smoking ones. The only time I smelled my neighbors smoking was when I was outside downwind of them having a smoke outside because they couldn’t smoke inside.

I have to wonder how good an apartment that can’t contain cigarette smoke is at containing something like covid-19.


Certainly all smoking is banned in my building (though some residents seem to think weed is exempt) pretty much because if you smoke, then everyone walking down the hallways knows it. And tobacco smoke at least is known to have staying power- it can still be smelled months after a smoker moves out, having gotten into the walls.

But at least Canada has the sense to allow smoking weed in public. It’s treated exactly the same as tobacco in that sense.


I mean they aren’t air tight, so the risk isn’t zero. Since most of it should be attached to water vapor, hopefully still low.

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Many things have carcinogens, as California’s labeling laws never tire of telling us, but tobacco smoke is significantly more carcinogenic than cannabis.

Moreover, you can dry leaf vape marijuana (whereby it never reaches the point of combustion but gets hot enough to vaporize the oils and activate the THC in the ground leaves) to further reduce the tar released and therefore cutting down the level of any carcinogens even further. (I don’t see why you couldn’t do the same with tobacco, but I’ve never heard of anyone doing it, I don’t smoke cigarettes, and I wouldn’t touch wet vapes with a ten meter poll.)

I’m not going to say cannabis has no health risks, but equating it to the health risks of tobacco smoke is fallacious.


To the point that the warnings become so prevalent they are ignored. :confused: Another “sounds good on paper” idea goofed up.


If SF really cared about the impact of smoking on the health of its citizens, it wouldn’t have banned vaping and vape shops, which provide the most successful form of smoking cessation. Unsurprisingly, rates of smoking have increased since the ban, as they have everywhere this demonstrably effective harm reduction method has been prohibited.


While I agree that consistency is vitally important in such matters, from a housing standpoint there just isn’t a comparison. It’s like oil and water; both are [quite often] liquids, both can stain some materials, etc. But to pretend that both present similar cleanup challenges is simply fallacious.

We recently helped someone move. After they had been in the new apartment for a mere two days, we brought over a “new” fridge. Mr. Resident had been out for a few hours, so nothing had been smoked in there recently. We both wore actual respirators, and removed our outer layer of clothing upon exiting. Yet almost a week later my car still smells like cigarette smoke.

I grew up in Hawai‘i; if pakalolo lingered like tobacco, I would still reek of it.


There isn’t much difference between the danger of weed smoke and the danger of tobacco smoke. Or any other smoke for that matter. The problem is smoke, not neccisarily what you’re smoking.

We hear more about cancer and lung damage with tobacco because people tend to smoke a lot more of it.

Meanwhile the reason your land lord disallows smoking in your apartment is because it costs them money and causes them problems. The tar builds up on walls, the stink lingers pretty bad. It’s expensive to fix/cover up and if you don’t it can be difficult to re-rent that place even to another smoker.

Given the real estate situation in SF I’m guessing this has more to do with the latter than second hand smoke dangers.

Because of the volume of tobacco a cigarette smoker goes through it tends to build up in the walls and create a lingering stale toast, musty smell in the whole building.

I smoke. And smoking inside is fucking disgusting. But in my experience people can’t smell that you’re smoking, in a clean apartment, while you’re smoking. But if some one is regularly smoking indoors you can sure as shit tell. For the next 40 years.


Yeah, fuck a bunch of this nanny shit. I quit smoking about a year and a half ago and am not tempted to restart, but I kinda wish I were.

I will pay money to a fund suing over this - there is zero reason renters should have fewer rights to behave how they choose in their own homes.


Oh lord, how is this acceptable? What you do in the privacy of your own home shouldn’t be anybody’s business.
Oh sure, if you’re renting and the contract has no smoking clause, that’s acceptable because it does damage the property. However as I understand this applies even if you own the apartment or the owner doesn’t mind. Fuck these people.

Disclaimer: I smoke, like, a lot. I do it in the balcony tho, cause I can’t stand smoking indoors.

Sidenote: Over here, in Lithuania, we have a brand new law that comes in effect next year. If a single neighbor complains about smoking, the entire building can’t smoke in balconies. That’s sorta fine legally because in Lithuania, balconies are considered shared areas (which doesn’t make sense, but here we are). Even the idiots in parliament we just got rid of wouldn’t dream of telling people they can’t smoke in their own fucking home.
/end rant


Yeah… I live in a single family home on a 1/4 acre lot, built in the 1960s but professionally insulated and sealed and with new windows six years ago when I moved in. The rooms on one side of the house regularly reek of pot, which those neighbors use in their detached garage about 30 feet from my home’s exterior wall.

I don’t think it’s realistic to expect an apartment to keep out smells from a neighboring apartment.