Thursday, February 22, 2024

Apartment Smoking Ban Sent Back to Committee


San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors on Tuesday rejected a proposed ban on smoking or vaping tobacco in apartments that it voted for just last week, reports The San Francisco Examiner.

The board must approve legislation in two separate votes. Typically, the second vote is perfunctory.

Supervisor Aaron Peskin, who initially supported the ban, said that he heard from many long-term tenants on fixed income raising concerns about the proposal since his vote and he was “remarkably moved in the last week by what I have heard from them.”

Critics expressed concern about the impacts the measure could have on longstanding renters, including fines of up to $1,000 per day and the potential for tenant harassment. The proposal does say a violation could not be grounds for an eviction.

“I really am fearful that the unintended impacts could cause more harm to long term tenants in my district and other districts,” Peskin said. “I do want to address the harm of secondhand smoke in multi-unit residential buildings, but I think there are better ways to address this.”

Approval of the legislation, which controversially exempted marijuana smoking, would have made San Francisco the largest city in the United States to adopt a smoking ban in multi-unit buildings.

Board President Norman Yee’s said he was disappointed by the failure of the measure to pass in the second vote.

“Today’s vote failed to prioritize the health of our most vulnerable community members,” Yee said. “It is completely backwards that we would defend the rights of people to smoke in their own homes over the rights of others to breathe safely.”

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