Smoke-Free Balconies?


On Tuesday I debated the Calabasas outdoor smoking ban (which takes effect tomorrow) with the town's mayor, Barry Groveman, on the L.A. NPR afflliate KCRW. He said the city council had decided to remove a provision banning smoking on apartment balconies near "common areas." It's not clear when exactly that provision was taken out of the ordinance, since it was in the version the city had posted on its Web site for weeks after what was officially the final vote on the measure. But it is gone from the version the city has posted right now. Smokers in Calabasas probably should keep an eye on the Web site, in case the ban continues to evolve online.

More intriguing than the vanishing provision was Groveman's rationale for removing it: He said it would have been too hard to enforce. Yet the city still ostensibly intends to make sure that no one lights up outdoors at any time of the day or night in the presence of a nonsmoker, whether or not the nonsmoker minds. If it included balconies, I guess that task would become impractical.