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Proposition 5

Their Berkeley success encouraged Loveday and Hanauer to try to get the California Legislature to pass a state clean indoor air law. The tobacco


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industry, having learned its lesson in Minnesota, vigorously and successfully blocked GASP's attempt to replicate the Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act in California. The bill did not even get out of committee.

After failing in the legislature, Loveday and Hanauer decided to take the issue directly to the voters through California's initiative process. The initiative, known as the California Clean Indoor Air Act, made smoking illegal in all public places unless they were specifically exempted. It required that partitions be erected in offices and public places, including restaurants, to separate smokers and nonsmokers. Violators were to be fined fifty dollars. In an effort to write an enforceable and reasonable law, Loveday and Hanauer included some exemptions, such as tobacco shops. Since the drug laws were not being enforced at rock concerts, they exempted rock concerts. This exemption, while reasonable from an intellectual point of view, was to become a major issue in the campaign. The idea of protecting nonsmokers from secondhand smoke was popular; polls (including those commissioned by the tobacco industry) showed support by a 3-1 margin.

Putting a proposed law before California voters as a statutory initiative requires proponents to collect valid signatures of 5 percent of the number who voted in the previous gubernatorial election,[5] which meant collecting 300,000 signatures in 1977. While most initiative campaigns rely on paid signature gatherers, the Proposition 5 advocates did not have that luxury because they had very little money. Moder became the paid campaign coordinator, working out of his house with his own printing press. By using campaign workers who were almost all volunteers, advocates qualified the initiative at a cost of only $50,000, the least amount of money per signature ever spent to qualify a statewide initiative.[4] The initiative appeared on the November 1978 ballot as Proposition 5.

Loveday and Hanauer formed a new organization to run the campaign, Californians for Clean Indoor Air. While nominally a coalition of many health and environmental groups, GASP provided the backbone of support. Loveday and Hanauer approached the voluntary health agencies for support, expecting them to be enthusiastic, but came away disappointed. Only the American Cancer Society (ACS) expressed interest in the initiative, and that interest was tempered. According to Hanauer,

We did get the ear of Ray Weisberg, who was then the chair of the Public Affairs Committee of the California Cancer Society. He agreed with us…that the way to really get smoking reduced was to make it socially unacceptable. This was our whole rationale. We not only felt that eliminating smoking in


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public places and the workplace was good for nonsmokers but that it also reduced smoking in the long run. Of course, the tobacco industry agreed with us. We wished some of the health agencies had agreed with us as much as the industry did. It took a long time. The Cancer Society came around mainly because of Ray Weisberg, but the other agencies at that time were very slow in responding and gave sort of token support.[4]

The voluntary health agencies, particularly the ACS in California, supported the campaign with some money but were not heavily involved in collecting signatures or conducting the campaign. Weisberg also convinced the California Medical Association (CMA) and the American Lung Association (ALA) to support the initiative, which made Proposition 5 appear more mainstream. The CMA put its name on the letterhead but, according to Hanauer, “wouldn't lift a finger during the whole campaign.”[4] The CMA sent the “Yes on Prop 5” campaign a seven-dollar invoice for some photocopying it had done for the campaign, which Hanauer refused to pay.[4]

In addition to Weisberg, the other important recruit to the campaign was Stanton Glantz, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco. Glantz, a Ph.D. in applied mechanics and engineering economics, conducted research on the function of the heart and was an expert in statistics. Glantz, who combined a background in political activism with his scientific training, would serve as the campaign's technical expert. Unlike some scientists, he was willing to do public battle with the tobacco industry.


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