Proposed smoking ban put out

Proposed smoking ban put out
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — A proposal that sought to ban smoking in apartments and condominiums has failed in a California Assembly committee.

The bill from Democrat Marc Levine of San Rafael was rejected Wednesday on a 5-2 vote.

AB746 would have created designated smoking areas outside the complexes. The area would have to be at least 20 feet from the building or 100 feet from a playground or pool.

Several California counties and cities prohibit smoking in multiunit residential buildings. The American Lung Association and other supporters say a statewide ban would protect residents from secondhand smoke drifting between units.

Stephen Pelz is the executive director of the Kern County Housing Authority. Nine months ago that organization banned smoking in all of it's units. Pelz said he was surprised the bill didn’t pass, but knew there was opposition.

“There are a lot of people in the private sector that don't want the government to tell them what to do with their units,” he said.

He said they put the ban in place for health, safety and financial reasons.

“If somebody’s been smoking in there it costs a lot more to get it ready because of the damage to the paint,” he said.

Opponents say the prohibition would be difficult to enforce.

A spokesman for Levine said the lawmaker will try to have the bill reconsidered after its defeat in the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee.

Pelz thought it’s just a matter of time.

“It just makes sense,” he said. "The idea that people have to smoke inside a room is really not something that's needed and for the safety of the tenants, and health of them it's really important.”