Smokers face more restrictions
CALABASAS – A pioneer in the fight against public smoking, the city of Calabasas might extend one of the nation’s toughest public anti-smoking laws to include apartment complexes. The City Council tonight will review a proposal that would bar tenants from smoking on patios and balconies, allowing them to puff only inside their units or in designated areas. “We’re going to great lengths to protect public health,” Councilman Barry Groveman said. “We’re protecting people from the dangers of exposure of second-hand smoke, which is now indisputable.” Now, Calabasas prohibits smoking in all public spaces, including parks, apartment common areas, restaurants and bars, where anyone might be exposed to second-hand smoke. “It’s so much nicer to not have a smoker down there,” Savoia said. “As much as I don’t like restricting what people can do or can’t do in their home, it was affecting our quality of life.” But Steve Molina, 22, a smoker who would feel the effects of the amendment, said city officials are taking it too far. “This is a blatant attack on our civil liberties,” he said. To a certain extent, Savoia agreed. She will attend tonight’s council meeting to voice her opinion. “The biggest issue for me is not to restrict people, but to ensure everyone is ensured a healthy quality of life,” she said. “Smokers need to have a place to go. It’s not fair to ban it entirely. It’s not realistic.” email@example.com (818) 713-3699160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Under the proposed amendment, the goal would be to completely snuff out smoking in local apartment complexes by designating units as nonsmoking once smokers leave them. “Gradually, over time, as smokers move out, the complex would be completely smoke-free,” Councilwoman Mary Sue Maurer said. “There’s no pressure for them to move or quit smoking. New tenants would be moving into a smoke-free unit.” One complex already has taken steps to make its grounds smoke-free. Archstone Calabasas, one of the largest apartment complexes in the city with 1,700 units, banned smoking on balconies and patios at its complex a year ago. Before that ban, Sam Savoia had kept her patio door at the complex shut to prevent second-hand smoke from entering her apartment. She said her neighbors’ cigarette fumes endangered the health of her two children – leading her to complain to the building manager. Within a month, the smokers were gone.