Jul 30, 2014
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Smoking in Your Apartment? Think Again

A new smoking law that went into effect Feb. 23 could land you a fine of up to $1,000.

Smoking in Your Apartment? Think Again

You might want to think twice before sparking that cigarette on your apartment balcony.

Effective since Feb. 23 is a new ordinance that makes it illegal to smoke in all multi-family rental complexes with two or more units where a single landlord owns at least half of the units, according to the city’s municipal code.

The ban also applies to balconies, porches, decks and patios connected to rental units. The restrictions, however, do not apply for medicinal marijuana patients.

Anyone who violates the smoking law may be subject to criminal prosecution or civil enforcement with a fine of up to $1,000, according to associate planner Avalon Schultz.

to restrict smoking in public spaces and reduce tobacco sales, landlords were given a 14-month grace period to notify tenants of the city’s new restrictions, install signage and, if they choose, create designated smoking areas.

The smoking areas must be clearly marked and located at least 25-feet away from prohibited zones such as playgrounds, swimming pools and other public use spaces.

The smoke-free housing ordinance makes Union City a leader in the county, Schultz said.

The City of Union City recently received for its smoke-free policies. Albany was the only other city in Alameda County to receive the high mark with Alameda — whose public smoking ordinance took effect in January — trailing behind with a B grade. 

Union City had a D grade prior to passing the 2010 smoking ordinances, according to an American Lung Association policy director.

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