Van Nuys senator proposes bill to allow ban on apartment smoking

Let’s face it: smokers can be some of the rudest asshats on the planet. They’ll defend their addiction to nicotine as a right to the bitter end, even at the expense of the comfort of their neighbors.

That said, God bless State Senator Alex Padilla (Democrat, Van Nuys), who has just proposed a bill that would allow landlords to ban smoking inside of rental units.

Normally, I’d argue that if people wanted to smoke in the comfort of their own home to go right ahead and turn those lungs into tar (death by lung cancer being so pleasant and rare and all). However, its the all too common smokers that can make apartment living as they suck on a pack below, blowing smoke out their window so it drifts up into yours. Not to mention their tendency to make courtyards unpleasant as they congregate and cloud the air, then leave behind overflowing ashtrays and the ground littered with butts.

I’m not asking for a law like the one in Calabasas that bans smoking outright in most rental properties, just some ammunition for the landlords who are sick of hearing their tenants complain about the asshat smokers they have to live with.

27 Replies to “Van Nuys senator proposes bill to allow ban on apartment smoking”

  1. I am a smoker. i will admit that fact. Laws like this however, I totally back. Laws like not smoking in bars,etc. I used to be against, but when I go back to Virginia I realize how obnoxious my habit is to people around me. I know a lot of smokers feel persecuted, but in my opinion they are idiots. I readily choose to partake in a habit that may very well kill me, I recognize this. That being said, I may very well be in a minority but I am willing to move my lazy ass X paces to enjoy a smoke so I don’t annoy/endanger others….

  2. You have the right to be offended,as well as the right to your own opinion,but where did you get teh idea that you have the right to decide what is best for other people?I happen to be offended by people that believe it is their right to legislate morality,and in my humble opinion,if you want to live in a socialist society,move to Russia.

  3. “Let’s face it: smoker’s can be some of the rudest asshats on the planet.”

    That was pretty rude, asshat. It helps if you don’t make a ignorant comment to lead your argument.

  4. Me: Like I said, people should feel free to smoke and get cancer. But when they smoke and it drifts into my home it becomes an issue.

    Chris wrote “a ignorant.”
    Hahahahaha.

  5. I can relate to the apartment issue, except in my odd case it was the reverse. Whenever the smoker — not one but two floors above me — would go out on the balcony (ironically because he didn’t want to stink up his own space, by some sort of windshear effect all his secondhand goodness came down into my apartment through my bedroom balcony window as if he was smoking on mine and not his own.

    As an extra bonus he had this particularly endearing habit of pitching his butts and enough of them fell on my balcony to eventually warrant me collecting them until I had a nice sandwich baggy full, at which point I duct-taped them to his front door with a pointed note that I cc’d to the manager. The smoking continued but the pitching stopped.

  6. It makes me furious when I see smokers toss their butts out car windows. Thanks for trashing our streets, morons.

    Smokers ARE asshats. Fuck ’em all and ban them everywhere.

  7. Average apartment rent in L.A. now is $1,670, according to stats unleashed last week. This would narrow the prospects for smokers considerably if an ample amount of landlords embraced the legislation (should it pass).

  8. Are you fucking KIDDING?

    I’ve never smoked but I *am* accustomed to FREEDOM. This is AMERICA, dammit.

    And smoking, need I remind anyone, is LEGAL.

    What the hell is NEXT?

    Why are people so willing – no, EAGER – to lay down their freedoms so easily?

    And where the hell is the ACLU to knock this stinking piece of bullshit back to where it belongs?

  9. Ruth, remember the Junk Food tax the state imposed after Dan White, assassin of SF Mayor Moscone and Councilman Harvey Milk confessed that too much refined sugar from Twinkies pushed him over the edge? That didn’t last long, was repealed by the voters, I believe, within a few years. This is legislating personal behavior to a repellent level (both the attempt at anti-smoking legislation and the Sin Tax — that’s what they called it back then, as I just now recall — on junk foods).

  10. What’s next? Forcing pet owners to spay and neuter their puppes?

    Oh. Wait.

    I’m a non-smoker. I hate cigarette smoke. I love that I can go to a bar or fly in a plane without being forced to breathe someone else’s smoke.

    But banning what people can do in the privacy of their own homes — rented or owned — is fucking bullshit fascism.

    I’m serious this time: What’s next? No music? No cooking certain things? No drinking alcohol? Because if you support banning smoking, how can you not support banning other things that some may find distasteful or annoying?

    I’m with Ruth. This is a load.

  11. @Markland re: Chris wrote “a ignorant.”
    HAHAhahahaha!!!1! That kind of thing cracks me all the way up.

  12. Yeah, screw that. Seriously.

    Too much is already illegal in one’s own home that shouldn’t be, rented or not.

    Fuck all of that.

  13. WAIT! MY BAD!!!I totally forgot that this ceased to be the USA some 90 years ago,My apologies to the cfr,illuminatti,and the other lords of these socialist states of amerika,where only the monied peoples have rights,and us commoners have priveledges that can be revoked at their pleasure,or on a whim.What was I thinking,must have been in a time warp living as a free person should be able to live.All of you communists need to move to Russia or siberia and let the government feed,cloth and medicate you from the cradle to the grave so you will not have anything to whine about,like the freedom to live your life as you see fit with the understanding that you have the right to disagree with my lifestyle,but NO right to tell me how to live even if it offends you.

  14. If a smoker stops smoking, imagine how much money they can apply to renting a better apartment, or even saving for a house. (Well, maybe not in LA…)

  15. Sure, Julia, and perhaps said reformed smoker takes up listening to soothing classical music to ease their frayed nerves as a surrogate for smoking. Until one day a busybody State Senator introduces legislation banning the playing of any recorded music device in residences between the hours of 10:00 PM and 8:00 AM …

    You see how it works?

  16. @RJ: Second hand Classical music doesn’t give people cancer.

    A side note:

    I used to live above a bar which was cool until the remodeled and removed the drop ceiling. The smoke would waft up through my floor into my apartment. That sucked. Luckily for me the state banned smoking in bars.

  17. Second hand Classical music doesn’t give people cancer

    No, Bullock, of course not, but here’s how the logic works: John Doe likes to listen to his music every night until 2:00 AM. Jane Doe, living next door, has her sleep disrupted by neighbor John’s music. The sleep disturbances produced by John’s music-playing habits affect Jane’s productivity in the workplace, as well as leaving her vulnerable to a host of opportunistic illnesses. That makes Jane a drag on the health care system, you see, a second-hand victim of John’s music-listening habits. John and his ilk must be stopped.

  18. But banning what people can do in the privacy of their own homes — rented or owned — is fucking bullshit fascism.

    I’m serious this time: What’s next? No music? No cooking certain things? No drinking alcohol?

    I don’t mean any sort of offense, but I really have to say I’m puzzled by this attitude.

    There are lots of perfectly legal things, like keeping pet cats or pet dogs, and, yes, playing loud music, and even cooking excessively smelly things, that landlords can, and routinely do, prohibit in their rental contracts and lease agreements.

    The landlord, the property owner, is the one who’s is “free to do whatever h/e/ /w/a/n/t/s/ is legal on his own property”.

    Whatever is legal. Whatever the law does not forbid.

    And that includes offering rental contracts and leases that include prohibitions against otherwise perfectly legal things like keeping cats or playing drums or listening to your boombox by the pool.

    The only reason there’s even a question as to whether landlords are free to forbid smoking is that we do have laws that do restrict, to some degree, the conditions that landlords may impose on renters.

    We have laws that take away a landlord’s freedom to, say, discriminate by race, or to require tenants to provide their own sewage systems, or to turn off the electricity on Mondays and Wednesdays to save money, or… well, any number of things.

    There’s a whole bunch of restrictive law wrapped around owning and renting real property, about what landlords may or may not require of tenants.

    In fact, it’s far from clear that landlords can’t already ban smoking in their units if they choose to do so, even without this law. I don’t think smoking is explicitly mentioned at all in LA landlord-tenant law – though I could have missed it.

    All this proposed law does is make it clear that smoking is NOT a protected right under landlord-tenant laws.

    Landlords aren’t required to ban smoking under this law. The law just affirms their right to do so if choose to.

    If landlords would rather not have their rental units fouled with smoke, and not subject their other renters to air polluted by someon else’s smoke, they’re FREE to do that.

    Landlords are free to add any legal (i.e., not forbidden by law) restrictions to their rental contracts.

    This law would simply make it clear that “No Smoking Allowed” is a legal restriction.

    Because if you support banning smoking, how can you not support banning other things that some may find distasteful or annoying?

    I repeat: All sorts of distasteful and annoying, but nevertheless legal, things – from playing the drums to working on your car in the driveway to hosting loud parties to chucking your trash out the windows – are routinely forbidden in leases and rental contracts, and can get you evicted if you violate those contracts.

    But somehow, I really can’t see that as “fascism.”

  19. But banning what people can do in the privacy of their own homes — rented or owned — is fucking bullshit fascism.

    I’m serious this time: What’s next? No music? No cooking certain things? No drinking alcohol?

    I don’t mean any sort of offense, but I really have to say I’m puzzled by this attitude.

    There are lots of perfectly legal things, like keeping pet cats or pet dogs, and, yes, playing loud music, and even cooking excessively smelly things, that landlords can, and routinely do, prohibit in their rental contracts and lease agreements.

    The landlord, the property owner, is the one who’s is “free to do whatever h/e/ /w/a/n/t/s/ is legal on his own property”.

    Whatever is legal. Whatever the law does not forbid.

    And that includes offering rental contracts and leases that include prohibitions against otherwise perfectly legal things like keeping cats or playing drums or listening to your boombox by the pool.

    The only reason there’s even a question as to whether landlords are free to forbid smoking is that we do have laws that do restrict, to some degree, the conditions that landlords may impose on renters.

    We have laws that take away a landlord’s freedom to, say, discriminate by race, or to require tenants to provide their own sewage systems, or to turn off the electricity on Mondays and Wednesdays to save money, or… well, any number of things.

    There’s a whole bunch of restrictive law wrapped around owning and renting real property, about what landlords may or may not require of tenants.

    In fact, it’s far from clear that landlords can’t already ban smoking in their units if they choose to do so, even without this law. I don’t think smoking is explicitly mentioned at all in LA landlord-tenant law – though I could have missed it.

    All this proposed law does is make it clear that smoking is NOT a protected right under landlord-tenant laws.

    Landlords aren’t required to ban smoking under this law. The law just affirms their right to do so if choose to.

    If landlords would rather not have their rental units fouled with smoke, and not subject their other renters to air polluted by someon else’s smoke, they’re FREE to do that.

    Landlords are free to add any legal (i.e., not forbidden by law) restrictions to their rental contracts.

    This law would simply make it clear that “No Smoking Allowed” is a legal restriction.

    Because if you support banning smoking, how can you not support banning other things that some may find distasteful or annoying?

    I repeat: All sorts of distasteful and annoying, but nevertheless legal, things – from playing the drums to working on your car in the driveway to hosting loud parties to chucking your trash out the windows – are routinely forbidden in leases and rental contracts, and can get you evicted if you violate those contracts.

    But somehow, I really can’t see that as “fascism.”

  20. I don’t see what the problem is with this law. Again, it doesn’t ban smoking in apartments. It just allows building owners to forbid smoking as part of the lease agreement.

    Here’s some other things that you rent that frequently have no-smoking conditions:
    -Cars
    -Hotel rooms

    Do people complain about their rights being violated when they’re told they can’t smoke in a motel room or car? Why should a rented apartment be different?

  21. Markland, Markland, Markland. An apartment is a private residence, whereas a rental car or a motel room are, for most folks, temporary vessels of rest or transport.

  22. Another non-smoker’s perspective…

    I find these laws infuriating. Most of the gripes I see posted here about smokers are matters of coutesy. If someone is flicking their butts near your apartment or blowing their smoke in, how about talking to them about it directly? You know, like a human being and stuff? Instead of making a law that tells them what to do in the space that they pay rent for.

    The people who support this b.s. are the same ones that call the cops at the drop of a hat when someone is making too much noise or doing some other annoying thing. How about we start communicating with each other more, instead of passing more laws.

  23. Agreed, Uncompressed. There are any number of habits and traits in other people that I find disquieting but enacting legislation to curb or halt said behavior is just ludicrous. Whatever happened to the “less government in private lives” football that the Republicans always kick around? I’m ashamed that this bill came from the desk of a Democratic state senator.

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