Big cities can have some strange odors, but one thing you won’t smell anymore if you live in a San Francisco apartment building is tobacco smoke. Last week, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted 10-1 to outlaw tobacco smoking in the city’s apartments.
The ban applies to apartments with three or more units and is intended to protect residents, even in other apartments, from the dangers of secondhand smoke.
If approved by Mayor London Breed, the ordinance will go into effect in 30 days at which point violators will be fined $1,000. Smoking is already illegal in the city in all common spaces, but the extension to private residences is a big step forward for community health. San Francisco joins 63 other cities in the state with similar bans.
According to the CDC, secondhand cigarette smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, 70 of which can cause cancer. Secondhand smoke has been shown to permeate between units in apartment buildings and is especially dangerous for infants and children who can develop many ailments, such as asthma, respiratory infections, from exposure.