Nov 202017

Smoking Restrictions in Palo Alto

Multi-unit Residences

Palo Alto City Council unanimously voted in December 2016 to restrict smoking at all multi-unit residences and common areas to reduce public exposure to secondhand smoke. Smoking restrictions for multi-unit residences go into effect on January 1, 2018. 

Landlords and sellers of condominium units are required to give written notice to tenants and buyers about the smoking ban and include smoking prohibitions as part of the terms of their rental agreements. This ordinance requirement considered input from a 2015 survey of Palo Alto multi-unit residents. The survey showed that:

  • 80% of multi-unit residents said smoking inside the unit bothers them;
  • 64% indicated smoke bothers them very much;
  • 90% favored smoking restrictions in multi-unit housing.

The following is from the Staff Report of December 5, 2016:

While there would not be an active enforcement program, Committee members noted that adopting the Ordinance would help to create a social norm for Palo Alto. Several Bay Area cities have done this, and believe that it has been successful. Council may decide that this approach is desirable. There remains a concern, however, that Palo Alto residents may expect outreach and
enforcement, for which there are no available resources.

 Posted by at 9:49 PM