San Francisco Bans Tobacco-Smoking Inside Apartments, Approves Weed

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 03 Dec 2020 12:04

A new law in San Francisco will ban people smoking tobacco inside apartments, but will allow residents to smoke weed.

Anyone who has a neighbour who smokes the green stuff will know it’s extremely potent, probably much more so than tobacco, so it’s likely some people won’t be overly pleased with the new ruling.


Despite this, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted 10 to 1 on Tuesday, December 1, to bring in the new legislation, making it the largest city to ban smoking tobacco in apartment buildings. The new ruling also bans the smoking of e-cigarettes.


Apparently its initial plan was to ban marijuana-smoking in apartments as well, but campaigners argued that their homes are the only legal place they could smoke. Unlike tobacco smokers, they cannot simply go outside to smoke.

While many landlords already ban tenants from smoking inside their apartment, this will take things a step further by making it illegal.


Discussing the matter, President of the Board of Supervisors Norman Yee said, as per the San Francisco Chronicle, ‘One should not have to live in a single-family home to be able to breathe clean air. That right should exist for every single person and family, regardless of where they live or what their income is.’

Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, who wrote the amendment to exempt cannabis, added:

Unlike tobacco smokers who could still leave their apartments to step out to the curb or smoke in other permitted outdoor smoking areas, cannabis users would have no such legal alternatives.


The new law will see San Francisco join 63 other cities in California in the banning of smoking tobacco in apartments, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

In addition to health concerns about smokers themselves, there’s a lot of evidence to prove that secondhand tobacco smoke is extremely harmful.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cigarettes kill more than 480,000 people per year in the country. 41,000 of those deaths are caused from second-hand smoke.

PA Images

As it stands, there have been limited studies on the effect of secondhand marijuana smoke has on people, but a 2016 study in rats found that secondhand exposure to marijuana smoke affected a measure of blood vessel function just as much as tobacco exposure did, and that the effects actually lasted longer.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse explained, ‘One minute of exposure to secondhand marijuana smoke impaired flow-mediated dilation (the extent to which arteries enlarge in response to increased blood flow) of the femoral artery that lasted for at least 90 minutes; impairment from 1 minute of secondhand tobacco exposure was recovered within 30 minutes.’

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: Life, Cannabis, Drugs, Now, San Francisco, smoking


San Francisco Chronicle and 1 other
  1. San Francisco Chronicle

    S.F. bans tobacco smoking inside apartment buildings, allows cannabis smoking

  2. National Institute on Drug Abuse

    What are the effects of secondhand exposure to marijuana smoke?