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Letters: Santa Monica's common-sense smoking ban

July 24, 2012

Re "Santa Monica goes too far," Editorial, July 22

Your editorial on Santa Monica's pending ban on smoking in condo and apartment units says the proposal intrudes too far into the "lives and homes of residents." The law does absolutely nothing to curtail current residents' smoking rights. It covers only prospective residents who, by definition, are not yet residents when they learn that the unit they are considering is a nonsmoking unit. They can choose to reside in a community with smoking units.

That decision helps current nonsmoking residents. How? They continue to live in their units free of the fear, and the health risk, that a heavy smoker will move in next to them.

We know this is a real issue thanks to the many current residents who came to the City Council to report horrible changes in their lives (and their young children's lives) from heavy smokers next door.

Bobby Shriver

Santa Monica

The writer is a member of the Santa Monica City Council.

The Times fails to consider the realities of apartment living.

At my elderly mother-in-law's building in Santa Monica, the units are far from airtight. She cannot even escape the smoke by sitting on her balcony, as the tenants below keep their door ajar to air out their own smoke-filled unit. Technically, they are smoking "inside their own home," but their conduct places others in harm's way.

As long as tenants reside in units where their carcinogenic smoke easily travels into the homes of others, regulations controlling their behavior are no less justified than those protecting restaurant patrons.

Patricia Collins

Pacific Palisades

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