Proposal to widen nonsmoking spaces may affect dense areas

A business advocacy group says a proposal that would significantly broaden nonsmoking areas in San Francisco will prohibit smoking in all of downtown San Francisco.

The proposal, introduced by Supervisor Chris Daly in April, includes a provision that would make smoking illegal within 20 feet of operable windows, exits and entryways of private nonresidential buildings as well as 20 feet from ticketing, boarding and waiting areas of public transit systems.

“Particularly troubling is the 20-foot radius,” said Rob Black, public policy director for the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. “In areas downtown and other neighborhood commercial districts, where you have doorway after doorway or windows that may open, it will prohibit smoking in the entire corridors and all of downtown.”

Daly told The Examiner that the Chamber of Commerce is “just blowing smoke.”

“That’s hyperbole. With the width of the sidewalk there are plenty of spots that people can smoke outside downtown legally if this ordinance passes,” he said.

The proposal was heard for the first time Thursday by the Board of Supervisors City Operations and Neighborhood Services Committee. The committee accepted 13 amendments to the bill, proposed by Daly.

The committee will discuss the proposal again in two weeks.

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

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