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San Francisco Smoking Ban: Board Of Supervisors Passes Two Anti-Smoking Bills

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During Tuesday's meeting, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to approve two bills further limiting where and when city residents can smoke tobacco.

The first bill prohibits smoking at all outdoor street fairs and festivals occurring on public land. The second requires landlords to designate each building unit they rent as either smoking or non-smoking and disclose not only that designation but the unit's smoking/non-smoking history to all prospective tenants.

Both bills were sponsored by Supervisors Eric Mar and Malia Cohen.

"This is another step forward to protect the public's health from the dangers of second-hand smoke," Mar told the Huffington Post in an interview last year, noting that 73,000 non-smokers die every year from second-hand smoke. "It's a critical public health danger with no safe level of exposure."

The festival smoking ban, which passed by a unanimous vote, exempts both small-scale events like neighborhood block parties and doctor-prescribed medical marijuana from the ban.

In a report issued early last year by the American Lung Association, San Francisco was given a "B" grade for its smoking policies.

A 2008 survey found that 13.5 percent of San Franciscans smoke cigarettes. While this number is slightly higher than the state average of 13.1 percent, it's down significantly from the 19.5 percent of city residents who said they smoked in 1996.

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