Burlingame to Consider Smoke-Free Policy in Apartments

Smoking Woman

Burlingame may become next city in San Mateo County, California, that does not allow using cigarettes inside apartments and other multi-unit housing buildings.  The issue is going to be discussed today in the City Council. The major aim of adopting such a policy is protection of apartements residents from secondhand smoke exposure.

In case the majority of the council votes in favour of the change, Burlingame would join a number of other jurisdictions having similar law. This includes Foster City, Belmont and some other zones in San Mateo County. At the moment the policy is on the stage of discussions and sharing opinions, and the Council will not make its final decision on it yet.

The proposal to adopt the law came from Councilman John Root. He says that it is important to pass this law because it will help to protect the health of people living in Burlingame.  Here the talk is about protection from toxic substances that cause a lot of health problems and these days many US cities take measures to create healthy environments.

The new anti-smoking policy would expand smoking restrictions existing in Burlingame which does not allow use of cigarettes in common areas of condominiums, apartment buildings, large residential facilities, senior living homes. In 2014 the city prohibited smoking within 25 feet of, city-owned property such as playgrounds,  parks and parking lots.

Mayor Terry Nagel said it is very important to hear all opinions from both sides because here the talk is about health from one side and about rights from other side.

He added that is not sure that the ban should be applied to people using legally medical marijuana, therefore wants to gather all arguments before making final decision.

Owners of housing units say that it is quite costly to clean up the apartment after a smokers who used to light up inside. Therefore they support the smoke-free policy. Some of them already go smoke-free voluntary while others still allow smoking.

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