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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Is Sweeping Smoking Ban Headed for S.F.?

Posted By on Tue, Feb 23, 2010 at 10:27 AM

click to enlarge Medjool would be seriously impacted. - VANESSA D./YELP
  • vanessa d./Yelp
  • Medjool would be seriously impacted.
We're proponents of smoking fish, swine, tomatoes, and peppers ― but Camel Lights? These days, not so much. There was a time long ago when a fog of cigarette smoke hanging up around the rafters of a dive bar implied authenticity, effectively discouraging fussy types in mom jeans. Now, whiskey tastes a little better when we can breathe and not worry about our clothes stinking next day. All the same, we're not, you know, complainers ― the sort of San Franciscans South Park loves lampooning. Yesterday though, the city's Land Use and Economic Development Committee met to hash out the prospect of a more sweeping ban on smoking in public spaces, which would include common areas of multi-unit housing complexes, tobacco shops, charity bingo games, outdoor restaurant dining patios, ATM and theater lines, hotel lobbies, farmers' markets, and sidewalk spaces within 15 feet of bar and restaurant entrances. The Tobacco Free Coalition, the Chinese Progressive Association, and members of the LGBT community spoke out in favor of the heightened restrictions. As Grub Street reported, the ban could significantly affect restaurants like Medjool, which this morning had no comment.

As for us, we're not quite sure where we sit on the issue (no word yet if the ban made it out of committee, and anyway, it'd have to be approved by the Board of Supervisors as a whole), but we hope it's at a warm, plate-laden table far from both smoke rings and the patter of whining customers alike.

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Andrew Simmons

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