Smokers in Santa Monica are no longer allowed to light up while on balconies or porches near homes.

The Santa Monica City Council strengthened the city’s protections against second-hand smoke by adopting an ordinance Aug. 10 that expands the smoke-free outdoor areas at multi-unit residential properties to a 25-foot radius around all doors, windows, and vents.

This includes all private balconies, patios, porches, and decks within the 25-foot radius and also covers areas on neighboring properties that are within 25 feet of a door, window or vent.

The new 25-foot rule takes effect Thursday, Sept. 9.

Existing city law already prohibits smoking in common areas that are usable by more than one unit of the property – such as yards, walkways and play areas.

Under the law, a person who smokes in a restricted area is subject to a court-ordered payment of $100 for the first offense. Subsequent violations carry payments of $200 and $500 respectively, according to the city attorney’s office. Any person can bring a case to court.

The law also requires landlords and homeowners’ associations to do two things:

Post at least one conspicuous sign in the common area notifying residents of the law and the remedy; and

Give notice by Dec. 1 to all affected units of the new covered locations and the remedies for violations.

For information and for downloadable signs and notices,