The United States Surgeon General’s 2006 Report on the Health Consequences of Involuntary Smoking provides the following:
Breathing secondhand smoke is a cause of disease in healthy nonsmokers, including heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease, and lung cancer.
Secondhand smoke is responsible for as many as 3,000 deaths from lung cancer and 46,000 deaths from heart disease among nonsmokers each year in the United States.
Children exposed to secondhand smoke are at an increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), acute respiratory infections, ear problems, and more severe asthma.
Scientific evidence indicates that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke.
According to several studies conducted measuring the tobacco smoke concentrations in various outdoor settings:
Levels of secondhand smoke exposure outdoors can reach levels attained indoors depending on direction and amount of wind, as well as the number and proximity of smokers.
Irritation from secondhand smoke begins at levels as low as 4 micrograms per cubic meter. In some situations this level can be found as far away as 13 feet from the burning cigarette.
To be completely free from exposure to secondhand smoke in outdoor places, a person may have to move nearly 25 feet away from the source of the smoke, about the width of a two lane road.
Studies on a cruise ship found that even while cruising at 20 knots and with unlimited air volume, outdoor smoking areas contained carcinogens in nearly the same amounts as inside the ship’s casino where smoking was allowed.
According to the 2009 California Health Interview Survey, creating smoke free areas helps protect the health of the 88.4% of San Franciscans who are nonsmokers.
According to the 2008 Study of California Voters’ Attitudes About Secondhand Smoke Exposure found that 75% thought that secondhand smoke is harmful, 64% were bothered by secondhand smoke, 73% support laws restricting smoking at outdoor public places, and people living in cities with strong smoke free air laws are more likely to believe smoking is not acceptable and that smokers should attempt to quit smoking.
A 2011 Opinion Survey conducted at seven street events in San Francisco from August to October, found that out of the almost 600 surveys collected: 67% favored making all street events in San Francisco smoke-free and 58.9% have been bothered by secondhand smoke at street events.
According to the California Clean Air Project, California Secondhand Smoke Policy Database, as of 2008, there were 187 California cities and counties with local laws restricting smoking in at least one outdoor area.
The Board of Supervisors finds and declares:
Nonsmokers have no adequate means to protect themselves from the damage inflicted upon them by secondhand smoke.
Regulation of smoking at outdoor events is necessary to protect the health, safety, welfare, comfort, and environment of nonsmokers.
It is, therefore, the intent of the Board of Supervisors, in enacting this Article, to protect nonsmokers from secondhand smoke and to eliminate smoking, as much as possible, at certain outdoor events.
(Added by Ord. 6-13 , File No. 120772, App. 2/4/2013, Eff. 3/6/2013)