Because secondhand smoke is injurious to health,1 even low levels of exposure could be considered a nuisance.2 While a small amount of smoke might be annoying or even a nuisance in a complex that bans smoking, the same cannot be said for a complex that allows it. To eliminate complaints related to secondhand smoke, associations are increasingly restricting or prohibiting smoking in the common areas, in exclusive use common areas such as balconies and patios, and even in units.
fn. 1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking-Attributable Disease, A Report of the Surgeon General. 2010; State of California Air Resources Board. Proposed Identification of Environmental Tobacco Smoke as a Toxic Air Contaminant. Executive Summary, 2005; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Fact Sheet: "Respiratory Health Effects of Passive Smoking," 1993.
fn. 2. Birke v. Oakwood Worldwide (2009) 169 Cal.App.4th 1540.
ASSISTANCE: Associations needing legal assistance can contact us. To stay current with issues affecting community associations, subscribe to the Davis-Stirling Newsletter.