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Ban smoking on San Francisco sidewalks

This petition had 38 supporters

In San Francisco, walking is a part of every-day life, and more often than not that walking brings pedestrians into contact with second-hand smoke, a proven health hazard.   It's time for that to end.

The City already acknowledges exposure to second-hand smoke is a problem.  For this reason, the city health code already bans smoking in many public places, such as waiting lines, sidewalk eating areas, the area near building entrances, park and recreational areas, and farmer's markets (see here and here).  For some reason, however, sidewalks are not generally included in "public places".  The philosophy is perhaps that when walking on a sidewalk, it's possible to avoid second hand smoke.  This is obviously not always true, however, and is certainly not true for small children, who are especially vulnerable, or those with health conditions which make them particularly susceptible.  There is simply no rational basis for it being okay to expose the public to the toxic gasses which are an unavoidable byproduct of smoking.

So this petition encourages the Board of Supervisors to extend the San Francisco public health code to include a general ban against smoking on are near public sidewalks, including within vehicles parked adjacent to sidewalks.  The interest of smokers to be able to practice their habit is far outweighed by the interest of the public to avoid the health risks associated with exposure to the toxic byproducts.

In Golden Colorado, in Gloucester City New Jersey, and in parts of Charleston North Carolina among other places sidewalks are already smoke-free.  The University of California at Berkeley instituted a campus-wide smoking ban in 2014.  Smoking bans are possible; smoking bans work.   It's time for San Francisco to back up its claim to support healthy lifestyles and walking as primary transportation by doing what it obviously should have done years ago: keep our sidewalks smoke-free.


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