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Three bartenders concerned about workplace air quality.

Close the Loophole to Protect Workers

San Francisco law protects workers from secondhand smoke and vape nearly everywhere, including farmer’s markets, sports arenas, movie lines, ATM lines, bus stops, parklets, 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 San Francisco 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.

Survey Says “Yes!”

A 2022 LGBTQ Minus Tobacco survey of 221 people who go to San Francisco 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 San Francisco.


would go to patio bars more often if San Francisco required bar patios be smoke-free. Only 9% would go less often.


San Francisco Bar Patio Air is Unhealthy

6 of 9 queer or queer-friendly bar patios visited in San Francisco in 2022 had peak air quality readings in the EPA “unhealthy” range or higher.  

As shown on the graph, one venue with lots of cigar smoking reached the “hazardous” level!

Air quality measurements on one San Francisco queer bar patio reached EPA “Hazardous” levels.
Cigar smoke saturating tabletop under whiskey cocktail

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.

5 of 6 San Francisco 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 San Francisco bar patios.

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