The City Council unanimously voted on Monday, Dec. 5 to ban smoking at all multi-unit residences and common areas in order to help reduce the public's exposure to secondhand smoke.
The ban goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2018, and landlords and sellers of condominium units will be required to give written notices to tenants and buyers about the smoking ban, and include smoking prohibitions as part of the terms of their rental agreements.
The City already has smoking bans in effect for the following areas:
• Commercial areas (regional and neighborhood) • Outdoor dining areas • Outdoor service areas: bus stops, ATMs, ticket lines, etc. • All public events • Places of employment, including construction worksites • All parks and open space, including golf course • Within 25 feet of enclosed areas
Exceptions to the current ban are allowed if there is a designated smoking area established and approved by the City that is at least 25 feet from buildings and includes a cigarette butt receptacle.
The City conducted a survey to multi-unit residential units in March 2015 and found:
• 80 percent said smoke inside the unit bothers them • 64 percent indicated it bothers them very much • 90 percent favor smoking restrictions in multi-unit housing
Council also voted on Monday to establish a permit program for tobacco retailers that will mainly be administered by Santa Clara County. The permit program prohibits permits from being given to any retail location within 500 feet of another tobacco retailer and prevents permits from transferring when a retail operation changes ownership. There are however grandfather provisions for tobacco retailers that have been operating since January 2011, and for retailers that have been selling electronic smoking devices since August 2014.