SAN FRANCISCO—In a 6-5 vote, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors failed to pass a ban on smoking in apartments on Tuesday, December 8.
As a result, the proposal will be sent back to committee. Supervisor Norman Yee, who introduced the bill at the beginning of November, opposed that motion as well as Supervisors Rafael Mandelman, Sandra Fewer, Catherine Stefani, and Ahsha Safai.
This is the second time that the board has voted on the ban. On December 1, the SF Board voted 10-1 to advance the proposal.
Supervisor Dean Preston was the only one who voted against the ban during last week’s vote and in the second vote, also voted to send the proposal back to committee. He said on Twitter:
“Last week, I was the lone dissenting vote against an apartment smoking ban I found over-broad & overly punitive, and which I feared could be used to harass long-term tenants. Today, on second reading, 5 supervisors joined me to send it back to committee.”
The other five supervisors who joined Preston in sending it back to committee were Supervisors Aaron Peskin, Hillary Ronen, Gordon Mar, Matt Haney, and Shamann Walton.
Supervisor Peskin, who voted last week to advance the smoking ban proposal, changed his vote this week, saying on Twitter that he has been “persuaded by many older, long-term renters that” the ban is “not only unnecessary to accomplish its goal, but potentially destabilizing in the midst of this pandemic.”
Last week’s vote was different than what was initially proposed; the first proposal included a ban on smoking marijuana in apartments. Marijuana became an exception after Supervisor Mandelman’s amendment passed.
Mandelman said on Twitter that “tobacco smokers and cannabis smokers are in fundamentally different positions under state law.” In California, it is illegal to smoke cannabis in public.
According to the Centers for Disease and Control (CDC), about 500,000 Americans die every year from smoking and nearly 41,000 Americans die due to exposure from second-hand smoking.
The Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) and the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) states that nearly 60 percent of San Franciscans have tried cannabis and more than half of Californian adults have been exposed to second-hand smoking.