Smoking at home: CA Tenants Rights and Alex Padilla

California SB 332 update…

State now allows smoking bans in multifamily housing
By Mark Glover –
Jan. 02, 2012
California landlords, who have long had the right to restrict pets, noise and even water beds in their units, can now prohibit smoking under a new law that took effect Sunday.
California Senate Bill 332, authored by state Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Los Angeles, was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on Sept. 6.
With Brown’s signature, Padilla said, “we will see the availability of smoke-free, multifamily housing grow throughout California.”
The new law requires landlords to specify in their lease/rental agreements areas where smoking is prohibited on their properties.
Craig Powell, whose Sacramento company Powell Properties LP owns a handful of upscale apartment complexes, noted that many apartment owners already have smoking prohibitions, but the new law will reinforce their stand.
“I think what this does is provide legal clarity … putting (landlords) on solid legal ground if they choose to have those restrictions.”
Powell said he has had in-unit smoking restrictions at his properties for nearly a decade without a serious challenge to their legality.
Padilla said he was troubled by the fact that no state laws specifically addressed smoking restrictions in multifamily housing units, such as apartments and condos. The senator said multifamily residences account for more than 30 percent of California housing.
“While more than 86 percent of Californians do not smoke, there is currently very little smoke-free housing in California,” Padilla said. “Living in multifamily housing should not compromise the health of renters or their children.”
Padilla’s measure faced little serious opposition and was supported by Aging Services of California, the American Diabetes Association and the California Medical Association.
The bill was accompanied by a blizzard of health studies indicating that secondhand smoke can travel throughout multifamily dwellings and cause harm to occupants. Children are particularly vulnerable, according to a 2010 study by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Powell speculated that the Sacramento apartment/condo market will not change drastically as a result of the law: “There are tens of thousands of (units) in the Sacramento area, and residents have freedom to choose.
“If they want a change, then residents are going to find a market.”
Robert Best, the western region director of the Smoker’s Club Inc., a national organization that advocates for smokers’ rights, said he believes “landlords have the right to ban smoking in their complexes, but I don’t think the state should be attacking smokers while the country is going down the toilet.”
Best said California seems determined to segregate smokers from nonsmokers. He also said he believes the new law will add another layer of confusion for Californians who smoke.
“Take Glendale, for example. The (anti-smoking) restrictions there are very strict, but if you walk down the street there, there’s an ashtray about every 20 feet,” he said.
The new California law specifies that landlords must comply with existing federal, state and local requirements for changing terms of a rental or lease agreement signed before Sunday.

Impact not lessened by fact that it depends on the whims of the bldg owner.
May 16, 2011
“Senate Bill 332 was introduced earlier this year by Senator Alex Padilla (D-Los Angeles), scoring one for the non-smoking advocates.? The bill adds Article 1.5 (commencing with Section 104497) to Chapter 1 of Part 3 of Division 103 to the California Health and Safety Code.? The bill, if passed and signed into law by Governor Brown, would make clear the rights of the owner of residential housing to prohibit the smoking of cigarettes or other tobacco based products within clearly defined areas of the residential building, including the unit itself, or the entire building.?? The legislation would not preempt any local legislation enacted before January 1, 2012.
The bill, passed the Senate just this week with an overwhelming 33-2 vote.? The current version, now heads to the Assembly.????

MEASURE?:? S.B. No. 332
AUTHOR(S)?:? Padilla.
TOPIC?:? Smoking: rental dwellings.
+LAST AMENDED DATE? šŸ˜• 04/14/2011
TITLE?:? An act to add Article 1.5 (commencing with Section
?104497) to Chapter 1 of Part 3 of Division 103 of the
?Health and Safety Code, relating to smoking.
Apr. 15?Set for hearing April? 26.
February 23, 2011
In CA we have a new bill to increase landlords power to ban smoking. This is SB 332. I have added you to the e-mail update list for that bill so you will be able to send out alerts in enough time for us to call and e-mail against this bill. If you want to run a notice to call now so we can say we do not support this bill here is the link for the author:
This senator is probably the most anti-smoking legislator in the California legislature – he has 3 anti-tobacco bills submitted this session alone. We should hit his in box with letters and e-mails letting him know we do not support this!
– A Newsletter Reader

Senator Alex Padilla
CA State Senate

Senator Padilla Introduces Legislation to Ban Caffeinated Beer Beverages in California

Monday, February 14, 2011

Cigar Association Challenges California’s Consideration of Anti-Tobacco Legislation
Sacramento, California? March 4, 2011 – The International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association is questioning the California State Senate’s consideration of proposed legislation that would ban smoking in all retail tobacco shops and other locations that have been exempted for more than a decade from the state’s current smoking bans.?
Senate Bill 575 aims to ban smoking in all retail and wholesale tobacco shops, private clubs, hotel lobbies, bars, taverns, businesses with five or fewer employees, banquet rooms, warehouse facilities, employee break rooms and other specified locations that have been exempted from the state’s Smoke-Free Workplace laws which passed more than a decade ago.
“There are many things wrong with this legislation,” said Chris McCalla, legislative director of the IPCPR, “not the least of which is that it is contrary to the principles on which our country was founded.”
McCalla said that tobacco is a legal product and that its use should not be legislatively prohibited, especially to the extent that small businesses, jobs and tax revenues are threatened.
“We support the right of business owners to choose whether or not to permit smoking on their premises.? But when the government starts legislating behavior and infringing on their rights, it’s just plain wrong,” he said.
McCalla said that Senate Bill 575 would cost the state money, jobs and small businesses.
“The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis has published a study based on data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Statistics that proves such bans negatively impact jobs, revenues and businesses. Many states have realized this to be true and are re-evaluating their position on such bans. In many cases, they are permitting smoking in locations such as those currently exempted from California’s indoor smoking ban,” said McCalla.
“Not only that,” he added, “but Californians and visitors to the state who enjoy an occasional good cigar with a glass of wonderful California wine will have virtually nowhere to do so if this legislation is allowed to pass.? All Californians – smokers and nonsmokers, alike – should be against this bill and stop it from being considered further.”
McCalla also said that conflicting evidence regarding the health-related effects of secondhand smoke should not be dismissed out of hand.
According to the website of the bill’s sponsor, “There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke.” McCalla pointed out that the federal government disagrees? with this statement and says safe levels of secondhand smoke do exist and they are well within the air quality levels found in most bars and restaurants that permit smoking.
“That safe level of exposure has been established by none other than the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration.? Don’t you think if secondhand smoke in the workplace was an issue that OSHA would move in to protect the employees?” he asked.
Tony Tortorici

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