Nov. 1, 2011 | Alameda will move Tuesday night to further strengthen its municipal smoking ban and render the lethal act nearly extinct in rental properties, the workplace and outside commercial water holes and dining establishments.
The ban follows more stringent ordinances in neighboring Berkeley, San Leandro and Hayward.
The city staff is recommending the ordinance include "100 percent" of multi-unit rental complexes. "People living in multi-unit properties are more susceptible to the negative health effects of drifting secondhand smoke as a result of proximity and the sharing of common walls and ventilation systems," the report submitted by the assistant city manager said. Property owners are already enforcing non-smoking leases, it added.
The possible adoption of increased smoking restrictions on local business will be an inconvenience for patrons, but the staff report notes on two occasions, the rights of non-smoking patrons will also be recognized.
Like Hayward and San Leandro, the ordinance would clear at least 20 feet from commercial entrance ways, including windows. Enforcement will lay at the hands of the police department and fire marshall, according to the report.
The hazard of secondhand smoke are well-chronicled. The city was presented a report in April of this year detailing the steps local cities have made to facilitate strengthening their own smoking bans.
The cost of the ordinance in terms of signage is estimated at $15,000. If approved, the ban will go in effect in January 2013.