Santa Monica Smoking Ban Takes Effect Today

CITY HALL -- You no longer have to leave the safety of your own home to violate a Santa Monica anti-smoking law.

As of today, it's illegal to smoke outdoors within 25-feet of any apartment building door, window or vent -- a rule aimed at preventing smokers from lighting up on patios and balconies of multi-unit residential properties.

The new law was uncontroversial when it came before the City Council recently. Mayor Bobby Shriver, who said he supported the concept of the balcony and patio ban but felt the ordinance should have gone further by requiring landlords to designate certain units as non-smoking, cast the only dissenting vote.