California could become the first state in the nation to ban tobacco smoking in apartments, regardless of what tenants, landlords and local government have to say about it.

In addition to forbidding smoking inside all multifamily dwellings, Assembly Bill 746 would

Assemblyman Marc Levine

prohibit the practice outside rental units — except in conspicuously marked, designated areas that meet several criteria.

Violating AB 746, an infraction, would bring a fine of up to $100. Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-San Rafael, introduced the bill Feb. 21. It’s sponsored by the American Lung Association.

The California Apartment Association has not taken a position on the bill, but Debra Carlton, the association’s senior vice president of public affairs, commented on the issue last week.

“I’m not justifying the practice, but somebody in a wheelchair who smokes in the late evening, for example, is going to have to go in the dark to a place off-site,” Carlton told the Sacramento Bee.

This is the kind of complaint that tenants expressed before CAA sponsored legislation in 2008 and 2011 that allows rental property owners to ban smoking in rental homes.

Current state law allows landlords to ban smoking but does not mandate that they do so. Some cities and counties, however, have passed bans taking away that prerogative.