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Sebastopol to consider smoking ban for apartments

Just how far should government’s crackdown on smoking go?

Sebastopol on Tuesday will consider toughening its anti-smoking rules to extend to people living in apartments.

Smoking already is prohibited in workplaces, public areas such as parks, retail stores, restaurants and bars and in the common areas in apartment buildings.

Under the proposed revisions, landlords would be required to write no-smoking restrictions into all new leases. There is a 14-month grace period for existing renters.

The meeting begins at 6:30 a.m. at the Sebastopol Youth Annex, 425 Morris St.


18 Responses to “Sebastopol to consider smoking ban for apartments”

  1. ds says:

    JP “I believe they have the right to smoke, but do it in a place where non-smokers are not forced to inhale your death smoke.”

    If not IN the privacy of their own home (or apt.), I’m curious where you would suggest they go to smoke? When…. according to the article:

    “Smoking already is prohibited in workplaces, public areas such as parks, retail stores, restaurants and bars and in the common areas in apartment buildings.”

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  2. JP says:

    I am currently a tenant in an apartment building where smoking is prohibited. My downstairs neighbors are chain smokers and choose to smoke right outside their front door. My apartment is FILLED with cigarette smoke on a daily basis regardless of whether I have my windows open or not.

    This can’t be legal…I believe they have the right to smoke, but do it in a place where non-smokers are not being forced to inhale your death smoke.

    I have spoken to the apartment manager but she did nothing about it…I’m looking forward to the new laws…

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  3. akr says:

    Jay: When was the last time you actually met such a person? 1985? Now, I’ve met some people with pretty strange beliefs (astrology and the great wisdom of all Native Americans, some of whom were onto something and some of whom for not) but basically wrote that stuff as an eccentric choice of religion.

    I suppose if I wanted to buy patchouli oil or incense or crystals or shirts that remind someone of their glory days in 1968, which I don’t, I could find such things in Sebastopol, but I think you are talking about pretty much nonexistent people.

    If you don’t like Sebastopol, don’t go. How hard is that?

    If you’re walking by smelly people they’re probably homeless, drunks, or drug addicts, not leftover hippies. And none of those folks are likely to waste money on patchouli oil.

    Criticizing the City Council, though, strikes me as fair game (obviously, since I keep doing it).

    But if you can point me to a specific street corner where this is actually a current problem, I’d be happy to fact-check it for you and say, sorry, Jay, to my surprise you were right, there are still a few relics out there.

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  4. Jay says:

    How about they mandate that residents should bathe at least weekly? Probably a little more apropos for that little shark jumping town.

    If I have to walk past another unwashed hippie slathered in patchouli oil, i might have pick up cigarettes just to keep from throwing up from the smell.

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  5. kathleen Long says:

    my mother is currently living in an apartment building in Sebastopol,the residents aren’t allowed to smoke outside,they are instructed by the manager to smoke in their apartments.


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  6. Political Scientist says:

    Zuma- Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, do YOU know what those words mean?

    It can be reasonably argued that smoking around a nonsmoker deprives them of their life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

    The real question is why, in this day and age, does anyone choose to smoke?

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  7. Lyn says:

    In a world in which more people are nonsmokers, and object to smoking, there’s still no reason why both groups can’t be accommodated.

    Restore property rights to landlords! If their largest customer base complains about smoking, they will tend, over time, to make their rental units nonsmoking. After all, business is about satisfying customers.

    After this sorts itself out, smokers may need to pay slightly higher rents to compensate landlords for catering to a smaller customer base and the likely higher fire insurance premiums.

    Is everyone happy? Nope. The prohibitionists will never be happy as long as someone, somewhere is having a good time . . . . smoking!

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  8. sheryl judge says:

    I’m pretty sure that law states, there should be a fire break wall in between each unit. If there are vents connecting each unit, wouldn’t that be in violation? I’ve lived in several apt. buildings and we always had our own source of heat and air, I say live and let live. If you smell smoke from the apt. next door, your building is probably not up to code, and should leave for that reason, not because someone smokes.

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  9. Phil Maher says:

    This proposed ordinance goes well beyond an individual’s right to do as they wish in their own home, rented or owned. It’s just a first step of an intrusion into places we never intended government to be, and quite frankly, don’t want them. What next- Too long a shower? Cooking meat on the BBQ? Leaving lights on in unoccupied rooms? Load orgasms? Regardless of their feelings about smoking anything, the people of Sebastopol would do well to stop what promises to be just the first step in the erosion of their right to privacy and the sanctity of their homes.

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  10. Zuma says:

    Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness!

    Someone tell Sevastopol what the tenor of those words mean!

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  11. akr says:

    perhaps an alternative approach: you can advertise that your apartment complex is smoke-free?

    I’d personally prefer that you can somehow keep the college-age kids quiet (occasionally threatening them with eviction seems to work pretty well), but if there’s a market for smoke-free apartment complexes, maybe it would work, and you wouldn’t be insisting that everybody go along.

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  12. Todd johnson says:

    Are we talking just tobacco or marajuana as well? If pot is included that will affect most everyone in Sebastopol.

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  13. akr says:

    I’ve never really been a smoker but I’ve worked on these issues. (personal confession: about 20 all told, while in the middle east, including one a night for a week, after which it was shockingly hard not to want one in similar circumstances, after dinner with friends, or at a party, for at least a year. And I never even thought I liked them. It’s insidious, how nicotine gets inside your head.)

    It is extremely hard to quit smoking, and it is a habit usually acquired at a very young age, typically 14 or 15. Under stress it is even harder to give up.

    I’ve lived in lots of apartments, often next to smokers, and I’ve never noticed the smoke or after-odor when I wasn’t talking to them.

    Granted, Sonoma County apartment managers don’t really handle ventilation as well as those elsewhere, but come on.

    If the smoker next door isn’t burning the place down, I don’t really care. Any effect on me is going to be minimal, no worse than stepping outside and breathing in gasoline fumes or whatever.

    If a neighbor is stinking my place up, it’s probably the apartment manager’s fault, but it’s never happened. Never. And I do have neighbors who smoke. They’re not proud of it, but they’ve got other things to worry about right now in addition to that. I’d worry more about drinkers who are fond of candles. I know there are exaggerated claims going around now about how even the least little trace of it could harm you – and well, I suppose it’s possible, but lots of things we don’t regulate, also for good reason, will probably harm you more. Leave your neighbors alone.

    Also, if you can’t smoke in your apartment, aren’t you probably going to smoke outside your apartment, where I probably actually will have to smell it?

    (I was more bothered by the neighbor who stepped outside to stand on my stairs and hock loogies over the fence – because he smoked. I eventually persuaded him to smoke, and hock loogies, downstairs. I was otherwise unafflicted by his smoking.)

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  14. Brooke Clyde says:

    “sebastopol used to be a liberal, nice little town. … their reputation for ‘let it be’ is going down the toilet quickly.”

    I remember when liberal meant “let it be”. It hasn’t meant that for a while now …

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  15. SR says:

    I’m all for it.

    I think people should be able to do whatever they want in their own homes so long as it doesn’t affect those around them.

    Their stinky habit causing me distress in my home is not acceptable – unless they want to pay my rent too then we’ll talk about it.

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  16. @Seb says:

    I hope Santa Rosa does the same thing. Actually, I hope they make it illegal to smoke anywhere within the city, but I don’t see that happening. Smokers stink up my community; I didn’t do anything to them.

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  17. shawna says:

    Sorry if smokers don’t like being told that they can’t inflict their addictions onto others…..but your feelings are not really my concern when you are diminishing my quality of life with your nasty a$$ second hand smoke. The law should be that if you own a home or if your landlord says it’s okay for you to smoke in your rental house (not apartment, condo or townhouse), then that is where you have to smoke….or in your vehicle with the windows rolled up!!! What smokers don’t realize (more probably, that they do realize it but just don’t care about others) is when you smoke in apts, condos or t.h., your smoke travels through the vents to the other units. Why do u assume that you should get to inflict your addiction onto my kids? Or cause me to have severe headaches? You might think you are, but you are not a victim of the tabacco co. You chose this addiction, keep it to your self!!!

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  18. paula oandasan says:

    sebastopol used to be a liberal, nice little town. now it seems every few months they are banning something..traffic on sundays, drinking on appleblossom day and now telling people what they cannot do in their homes/apartments. don’t think so. when did sebastopol get on its way to becomeing a police state?
    that’s not cool. their reputation for ‘let it be’ is going down the toilet quickly.
    i love sebastopol but i hate to see it becoming a town of ‘you can’t do this and you can’t do that’. give sebastopol a break and let people be. just my humble opinio0n
    paula oandasan

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