San Francisco - further smoking restrictions..

March 11, 2010 - Smoking soon will be snuffed out at sidewalk cafes, restaurant patios, movie and ATM lines, bingo halls and the common areas of housing complexes.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday, March 10th to extend smoking restrictions to those places, along with lighting up near doorways and windows of offices, shops and restaurants. It already is illegal to smoke in offices and commercial establishments that don't have a legally designated smoking area.

"This legislation will protect thousands of San Franciscans from secondhand smoke," said Supervisor Eric Mar, chief sponsor of the legislation. Board support for the proposal was unanimous. However, a second vote is required next week for final passage. Mayor Gavin Newsom will review the amended legislation before deciding whether to sign or veto it, but he is generally in support of smoking restrictions, said spokesman Tony Winnicker.

Getting to this point, said Mar, "has been a difficult process." More than two years in the making, the legislation ran into resistance from owners of nightclubs, bars and restaurants, real estate interests and the hotel industry - concerned about driving away business in this bleak economy.

Matt Kahn, an owner of the 5-year-old Cigar Bar & Grill in the historic Jackson Square district, worries that he'll have to shut down, or completely revamp his business. While smoking is not allowed inside, patrons smoke cigars, eat and drink on the outside patio. "We don't know exactly what we're going to do. We might have to rename the place, change what we are," he said. "This really puts us in jeopardy."

He was one of the unlucky business operators who seemingly won't benefit from the nearly three dozen amendments that were made to the legislation to tamp down opposition. Changes included allowing smoking to continue at owner-operated bars, existing tobacco shops and bars that already have permissible smoking areas. But in the end, the coalition behind the legislation is satisfied with the outcome, despite the weakened restrictions.

"This is still a very good opportunity to affect public health immediately," said Karen Licavoli-Farnkopf, vice president of the anti-smoking group Breathe California,

The dangers of secondhand smoke have been documented in studies that found exposure increases the risk of asthma, heart disease, emphysema and lung cancer. "Those communities that have adopted ordinances like this have actually seen decreases in the numbers of death ... so by passing this ordinance you are all saving lives, and I can't think of a higher calling than that," San Francisco's public health chief, Dr. Mitch Katz, told the supervisors prior to their vote.

While San Francisco was at the forefront of the nation's anti-smoking laws more than a decade ago, the city has slipped behind other jurisdictions and even with the new controls, it doesn't go as far as some places. In the Bay Area, for example, Richmond and Belmont have tighter restrictions on smoking in housing, and Berkeley has tougher limits on lighting up in outdoor commercial areas, said Licavoli-Farnkopf.

Mar and others who worked on the legislation said they wouldn't be surprised to see efforts made later on to strengthen the crackdown on smoking.

"I understand trying to keep people from smoking in public places indoors, but outside?" said 23-year-old Hank Evans, as he sat outside the Beanery cafe on Ninth Avenue in the Inner Sunset Tuesday smoking a cigarette. "I think it's getting a little extreme, becoming a nanny state." His girlfriend, Linda Yee, 20, sitting next to him, smiled. "Maybe this will finally get him to quit," she said.

Reference: S.F. supervisors vote to get tougher on smoking, Rachel Gordon (, San Francisco Chronicle (FSGate) Staff Writer, 3/9/2010.

Some San Francisco related news briefs:
San Francisco (SF) - launches new anti-smoking campaign..;
San Francisco may expand smoking ban..;
San Francisco - mulls proposal to reduce the number of stores that can sell tobacco..;
San Francisco - Philip Morris has dropped its lawsuit challenging San Francisco's prohibition on tobacco sales at pharmacies..;
San Francisco - Michael Jordan caught smoking on public golf course..;
San Francisco - cigarettes cost a little more starting today, October 1, 2009..;
San Francisco can enforce its ban on tobacco sales in drugstores..;
San Francisco - fight about selling tobacco products in drugstores has flared up..
San Francisco - Judge threw out a Walgreens attempt to stop the ban of tobacco sales in pharmacies..;
Philip Morris appeals tobacco ban at San Francisco pharmacies;
Federal Judge Denies Bid To Stop San Francisco Pharmacy Tobacco Ban..;
Philip Morris USA request stop in San Francisco's ban on tobacco sales by pharmacies..;
San Francisco - cigarette sales rise sharply in c-stores..;
San Francisco files brief to oppose bid by PM USA to block the banning of tobacco sales in pharmacies..;
Philip Morris challenges San Francisco pharmacy tobacco ban..;
Walgreen: San Francisco’s Tobacco Ban Is Unfair..;
San Francisco - All Tobacco Products Banned in All Pharmacies..;
San Francisco critical vote - bar tobacco sales pharmacies..;
SAN FRANCISCO Ban on tobacco at drug stores sought...



March 12, 2010 at 6:11 PM

And here we have again the classic example, meant of course, to hinder smoking habits:

So, what is your opinion on this new 'regulation' so to speak?