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Beginnings: The Nonsmokers' Rights Movement
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The San Francisco Ordinance

Quentin Kopp, a powerful member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, had supported Proposition 5, and Hanauer knew him personally. Hanauer had approached Kopp on several occasions about the


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possibility of carrying a San Francisco ordinance, and in 1983 Kopp agreed to introduce a comprehensive clean indoor air ordinance for public places and workplaces. But before he could introduce his ordinance, another supervisor, Wendy Nelder, surprised everyone by announcing that she was going to introduce an ordinance limited to workplaces.

A week later Hanauer was on San Francisco radio station KCBS discussing smoking issues in general and CNR specifically, along with Michael Eriksen, who was in charge of health issues for Pacific Bell. (Eriksen subsequently became head of the federal Office on Smoking and Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.) Hanauer mentioned that CNR was working on a San Francisco ordinance without giving details. Nelder was angry that Hanauer had not mentioned her name and let him know that she wanted nothing to do with him or CNR. CNR was placed in the awkward position of working for an ordinance whose principal sponsor would not talk to the organization's members. Despite the personality problems and vigorous opposition from the tobacco industry, the Board of Supervisors passed Nelder's workplace smoking ordinance by a vote of 10-1 on May 31, 1983. San Francisco became the twenty-second locality in California to enact a clean indoor air ordinance when Mayor Dianne Feinstein signed it into law on June 3, 1983.

The ordinance required that all workplaces have policies on smoking that accommodated the needs of smokers and nonsmokers. If an accommodation acceptable to the nonsmoker could not be found, however, the work area would have to be smoke free. Using language suggested by the Bank of America, the ordinance gave flexibility to employers but established the right to a smoke-free environment for employees.

While the San Francisco ordinance was neither the first nor the strongest, it attracted national and international media attention.


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Beginnings: The Nonsmokers' Rights Movement
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