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Three bartenders concerned about workplace air quality.

Close the Loophole to Protect Workers

Oakland law protects workers from secondhand smoke and vape nearly everywhere, including sports arenas, movie lines, ATM lines, bus stops, restaurant patios, and indoor areas of bars… but not bar patios!

Bar workers deserve the same protections on their workplace patio as they have at a bus stop or ATM. No one should have to choose between their health or a paycheck.


Smoke-Free Air Laws are Good for Business

25 years of data in the United States show that smoke-free air laws do not have an impact on bar or restaurant employment. After the law designated indoor areas of California bars smoke-free in 1998, bar revenues continued to climb.

This evidence demonstrates that if Oakland adopted a law requiring all bar patios to be smoke-free, bar patrons who smoke would continue to visit their favorite bars, taking a smoke break on the sidewalk and returning to the bar and patio to enjoy the community, just as they do in other cities — like San Jose — that have taken this action.

Happy bar patrons and bartender.
LGBTQ Minus Tobacco information table with survey

Survey Says “Yes!”

A 2022 LGBTQ Minus Tobacco survey of 86 people who go to Oakland bars found widespread support for a smoke/vape-free bar patio policy:


would support a law requiring smoke-free bar patios and semi-enclosed bar areas in Oakland.


would go to patio bars more often if Oakland required bar patios be smoke-free. Only 10% would go less often.


Oakland Bar Patio Air is Unhealthy

2 of 5 queer or queer-friendly bars visited in Oakland had peak air quality readings in the EPA “unhealthy” range or higher.

Data from one bar with “unhealthy” air is shown on the graph.

Graph of air quality in a semi-enclosed smoking room in Oakland showing unhealthy air.
Hands holding drinks  in smoke-filled environment.

Thirdhand Smoke is Hazardous

Thirdhand smoke is residue from smoking and vaping that settles on surfaces, floors, furniture, clothes, hair, and skin. Thirdhand smoke contains nicotine and other chemicals that remain long after smokers are gone. Data from recent visits to San Francisco bars indicates that thirdhand smoke is a problem on bar patios:

5 of 6 bar patios where surface samples were taken had nicotine residue levels comparable to homes with indoor smoking.

4 of 4 non-smoking bar patrons had high levels of nicotine on their hands after spending 2 hours on bar patios.

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