tocacco plant Native American Tobaccoo flower, leaves, and buds

tocacco Tobacco is an annual or bi-annual growing 1-3 meters tall with large sticky leaves that contain nicotine. Native to the Americas, tobacco has a long history of use as a shamanic inebriant and stimulant. It is extremely popular and well-known for its addictive potential.

tocacco nicotina Nicotiana tabacum

tocacco Nicotiana rustica leaves. Nicotiana rustica leaves have a nicotine content as high as 9%, whereas Nicotiana tabacum (common tobacco) leaves contain about 1 to 3%

tocacco cigar A cigar is a tightly rolled bundle of dried and fermented tobacco which is ignited so that its smoke may be drawn into the mouth. Cigar tobacco is grown in significant quantities in Brazil, Cameroon, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Indonesia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Sumatra, Philippines, and the Eastern United States.

tocacco Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the fresh leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It can be consumed, used as an organic pesticide, and in the form of nicotine tartrate it is used in some medicines. In consumption it may be in the form of cigarettes smoking, snuffing, chewing, dipping tobacco, or snus.

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San Mateo condo complex to vote on smoking ban

One San Mateo condominium complex may soon be turning into a microcosm of Belmont, the neighboring city that made national headlines in 2007 by banning smoking in condos and apartments.

The Plaza West Complex’s board of directors will vote later this month whether to adopt a rule banning smoking anywhere on the premises except for two outdoor stairwell areas and a portion of the parking lot.

If passed, it will likely be the first successful ban on indoor residential smoking in San Mateo. According to health advocates, real estate organizations and property owners, it is another sign of a tidal shift in an argument where private property concerns have traditionally trumped the potential consequences of breathing secondhand smoke.

“I see it as a definite growing trend,” said Eric Wiegers, deputy director of the California Apartment Association, an organization that represents members of the rental housing industry. “Belmont set the lead for other cities to set bans on smoking in multifamily housing units.”

Unlike the smoking ban implemented by the Belmont City Council, which covers any residences that share a floor or ceiling with others, this one would be enforced by Plaza West’s board of directors.

Jagruti Patel is one of five residents that sit on the board. She said the proposed rule has the support of all five members and will likely pass when it comes up for a vote later this month.

Avenue complex with her husband, said she joined the board primarily to advocate for a smoking ban after suffering through a neighbor’s smoke, which drifted into her unit on hot days.”During the summer we’d open our sliding doors,” she said. “In 100-degree heat you need to do that, but we’d smell smoke and so we’d have to shut it, and I want to start a family and not deal with the secondhand smoke affecting my health and my future children.”

Patel said that aside from a few negative comments on surveys passed out in April, the residents have so far seemed supportive of the ban.

“I’m very happy with it,” said Norma Hinderlie, 68, who has lived at Plaza West since 1993. “I don’t want to get the secondhand smoke and all the problems that go with it.”

But not all residents support the idea.

“It’s ridiculous,” said John Tong, a 15-year resident of the complex who described himself as a light smoker who rarely lights up indoors.

“It’s invasion of privacy,” he said. “And it’s my property. If they start with this, what are they going to ban next?”

In the past, privately owned condominiums have been classified like detached houses, but as the scientific data continues to paint a grimmer picture of the health effects of secondhand smoke, more and more condo and apartment complexes are successfully banning smoking by classifying it as a nuisance, like excessive noise or waste.

“Secondhand smoke is a toxic air contaminant that doesn’t know how to stay put,” said Serena Chen, regional director of policy and tobacco programs for the American Lung Association in California. “It drifts. It seeps. As much as 65 percent of the air in your unit is from your neighbor’s unit. People tell me it’s coming through their dishwasher.”

The association has focused on the issue in recent years, publishing step-by-step guidelines condo owners can follow to classify smoke as a nuisance in their complexes.

“Ninety-eight percent of the complaints we get are from the housing arena, because all the other arenas are taken care of,” Chen said.

According to the latest California Health Survey from the University of California, Los Angeles, some 86 percent of Bay Area residents identify themselves as nonsmokers.

“There’s your market: 86 percent of residents,” Wiegers said. “Our surveys say that people want to live in smoke-free buildings. The market is taking care of the problem, if you will.”

Cities such as Calabasas, Martinez, Pinole and Dublin are all instituting ordinances requiring that some portion of all condominiums and apartment complexes be designated as smoke-free areas, Wiegers said.

Vern Giron-Holme, property manager of the Plaza West apartments, stressed that the rule would not be a complete ban on smoking on the premises.

“The main point in all of this, and it’s kind of been missed, is that it’s not a complete ban — they’re enhanced restrictions,” said Giron-Holme, who is also a resident of the complex. “The board is sympathetic to smokers, but they are also sympathetic to the residents’ rights, and the way the buildings are made, the smoke does go through the floors.”

Giron-Holme is not a member of the board at Plaza West, and he said he was staying out of the argument.

“I’m indifferent, he said. “I smoke cigars every once in a blue moon. I would be willing to forgo that.”

© Copyright: Insidebayarea

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2 comments to San Mateo condo complex to vote on smoking ban

  • Bob

    California must have really shoddy building codes if toilet, cooking, smoke, and other odors permeate the building.

  • PuffPuff

    As a Belmont smoker, I found the perfect solution to the absolutely outrageous smoking bans. I am using electronic cigarettes from
    It allows me to stay inside my apartment, enjoying the ritual of smoking along with a cup of coffee, etc. These cigarettes can be smoked where ever smoking bans are in force. Perfectly satisfying in every way.
    Thank you for the perfect solution.

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