San Francisco toughens rules against public smoking

Farmers markets, homeless shelters, charity bingo games added to no-smoking list

San Francisco supervisors Tuesday gave final approval to an ordinance expanding the city's regulations against public smoking.

The ordinance, introduced by Supervisor Eric Mar, will ban smoking in outdoor restaurant dining areas and several other locations, and was unanimously approved after a second and final vote by the board Tuesday afternoon. A lengthy campaign pushing for the new regulations required several amendments that were concessions to business owners.

Mar and anti-tobacco groups have touted the new law as a means to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke.

Mayor Gavin Newsom is expected to sign it, according to his office. His spokesman Tony Winnicker noted "a collaborative process" in forging the legislation between board members, the mayor and the business community.

In addition to outdoor restaurant dining areas, the law will ban smoking in enclosed common areas of multi-unit housing, and at farmers markets, homeless shelters and charity bingo games.

It also prohibits smoking in service waiting areas, such as lines for ATMs, concerts, movie theaters, sporting events, taxis and bus stop shelters, and within 15 feet of business doorways.

Current city law already prohibits smoking in city buildings, businesses, schools, hospitals and public transit. Smoking is still allowed in private homes and on city streets and in existing bars that have semi-enclosed outdoor smokng areas.

State law already prohibits smoking inside bars, but there is an exception for owner-operated bars.

Once signed into law, smoking in owner-operated San Francisco bars that have residential units upstairs will no longer be allowed.

According to Mar's office, those bars will have two years to move to a commercial building if they want to continue to allow smoking inside.

The outdoor dining area prohibition goes into effect in six months. Every other provision becomes law in 30 days.

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