It’s Not the Drugs, They *Are* Coming To Get You(r cigarettes)
Anxiety’s not just for potheads anymore: cigarette smokers have a right honest excuse to be paranoid too, as forces are at work RIGHT NOW to ban smoking nearly everywhere.
San Francisco’s smoking ban was extended Tuesday to ATMs, outdoor seating at cafes, queues of nearly every nature — including lines to, say, buy cigarettes — and bars with smoking patios if the bar is located in a mixed-use building. This legislation passed the Board of Supervisors 10-0, but does not go nearly far enough, according to the anti-smoking activists who spent “two years” pushing stricter controls on butts.
Eventually, Breathe California envisions a San Francisco with no indoor semi-enclosed smoking patios, and no smoking on outdoor patios at all (yes, Zeitgeist, they will not rest until you are dead). This wasn’t politically practicable at the moment, however, forcing the organization to compromise with supervisors whose ears are had by the small business community, according to Breathe California spokeswoman Karen Licavoli-Farnkopf.
“It took us two and a half years to get [here],” she said Tuesday. “We had to make compromises to get something passed.”
Bars in mixed-use units — i.e. with housing above and a bar below — will be forced to shutter their semi-enclosed smoking rooms under the new law. If any smoking patios opened after Jan 1 of this year, they, too, will be shut down.
Why so serious? Smoking kills, duh: and there’s no safe level to smoke exposure. “End of story,” said Licavoli-Farnkopf, who said that bans on smoking in residential units could be in the works.
The Appeal has contacted representatives from the bar industry as well as folks who sit on the Entertainment and Small Business commissions for their sides of the story. We’ll post back when we hear back.