San Francisco - now illegal to smoke in any outdoor seating of any restaurant..

November 4, 2010 - It is now officially illegal to smoke in any outdoor seating of any restaurant in San Francisco. Think back patios, sidewalk tables and the like.

The law, part of anti-smoking legislation sponsored by Supervisor Eric Mar and passed by the Board of Supervisors in March, has just gone into effect within the past few days. Restaurants are now being required to post signs at every entrance stating "Smoking only 1) at the curb or 2) if no curb, at least 15 ft. from exits, entrances, operable windows and vents."

And, the sign must include "the international 'no smoking' symbol, consisting of a pictorial representation of a burning cigarette enclosed in a circle, with a diameter of at least three inches, with a bar across it." Seriously.

Background: 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. (San Francisco - further smoking restrictions..)
Failure to comply could cost restaurant owners $500 per citation and, ultimately, a referral to the City Attorney's office.

The Golden Gate Restaurant Association has had its, yes, beefs with City Hall before - but not this time. Kevin Westlye, director of the association, said the group backed the legislation once wording about restaurant owners having to police people - even non-customers - smoking on the sidewalks out front was eliminated. In general, restaurant owners were supportive of restricting second hand smoke for their employees and customers, he said.

Westlye said the biggest adjustment may be for European and Asian tourists, "many of whom still like to smoke." And for groups that rent out entire restaurants for banquets and find they cannot smoke a celebratory cigar outside. "Technically, that has become illegal," Westlye said. "That's a larger adjustment than the single table wanting to smoke on the patio."

Reference: Smoking in SF restaurant patios snuffed out, Posted by: Heather Knight, San Francisco Chronicle, 11/3/2010

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