Smoking inside unincorporated county apartments and condominiums could become a thing of the past under a possible prohibition being studied by the Board of Supervisors Tuesday.
Supervisor Carole Groom, one of the possible ban’s proponents, wants the public to turn out at Tuesday’s meeting to support the idea of tamping down smoking and its associated health hazards.
“I hope that the people who come will say yes, we approve of this. Yes, this is a good thing to do,” said Groom. “Second-hand smoke is far more dangerous than we once thought.”
The proposal would only affect multi-unit housing in the county’s unincorporated areas which Groom said includes 1,069 apartments. The ordinance would prohibit smoking within 30 feet of the complexes, including decks, patios and other common areas. The ban would not affect motels, hotels, detached single-family homes or in-law units.
The ban on smoking within units as well as outside is necessary because smoke travels through windows and vents and up walls, she said.
Groom took up the idea and enlisted fellow Supervisor Adrienne Tissier at the request of the county’s Tobacco Prevention Program and work has been underway for about a year and a half.
The North Fair Oaks Council and California Association of Realtors vetted the proposal and Groom said it was met with approval because it conforms to similar bans in other areas. The presence of such restrictions elsewhere is one reason why Groom thinks the idea will also fly for San Mateo County without much, if any, pushback.
“To me it’s kind of like the plastic bags. It’s been established in other areas. People are living with it and most people have sort of adopted it,” she said.
The ban would be similar to one adopted by Santa Clara County in 2010 and, closer to home, ordinances passed by the cities of Belmont and Daly City.
The Board of Supervisors is scheduled Tuesday only to study the matter but Groom said if there are no major concerns she hopes to get the ball rolling on getting an ordinance before it for a vote and implementation.
The Board of Supervisors meets 9 a.m. Tuesday, March 25 in Board Chambers, 400 County Government Center, Redwood City.
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