Law bans smoke from crossing property lines

Associated Press

ROCKVILLE, Md. — An affluent, populous county just outside the nation’s capital has approved one of the most restrictive anti-smoking measures in the nation, allowing residents to be fined up to $750 if neighbors complain about odor from their homes.

Montgomery County’s measure would treat tobacco smoke in the same manner as asbestos, radon, molds, pesticides or other pollutants. If the smoke gets into a neighbor’s home, the neighbor would be able to complain to the county’s Department of Environmental Protection.

"This does not say that you cannot smoke in your house," said council member Isiah Leggett. "What it does say is that your smoke cannot cross property lines."

Landlords or condominium associations that do not properly ventilate their buildings — or smokers who do not take steps to relieve the problem — would face fines of up to $750 per violation.

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