Maryland's Tobacco Resource Center - Linking Professionals to Best Practices

Shared Walls? New Ban on Smoking in Condos and Apartments

November
2013

The town of San Rafael, CA is now taking the lead on strict smoking bans.  The new ban, in place since November 2013, states that residents cannot smoke in their own homes if they share a wall with another residence; this includes condominiums, apartments, co-ops, duplexes, and multi-family dwellings with three or more units.  Both renters and owners are affected by this new ban.  This ban was founded on the evidence that secondhand smoke can affect neighboring dwellers by dissipating through ventilation ducts, walls, and even small cracks.  The impact of this new legislation hopes to not only protect residents from the health risks associated with secondhand smoke but also landlords who must cover the higher costs associated with cleaning dwellings of individuals who smoke.  Support of this ban has been mixed and it remains controversial across the country.