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San Francisco votes to ban smoking tobacco inside apartments... but weed will still be allowed

San Francisco votes to ban smoking tobacco inside apartments... but weed will still be allowed
San Francisco City Council has voted to ban tobacco use inside apartments, citing the dangers of second-hand smoke to public health. Marijuana smoking has been exempted however, after lobbying efforts from cannabis campaigners.

The Californian city will become the largest city in the US to outright ban smoking inside apartments after the city's Board of Supervisors voted 10 to one on Tuesday in favor of domestic cigarette prohibition.

Curiously, the ban ran afoul of existing legislation, as it is illegal under California law to smoke marijuana in public, so banning its use in the home would effectively ban its use outright – a case that cannabis activists argued successfully, thereby securing its exemption from the at-home smoking ban.

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“Unlike tobacco smokers, who could still leave their apartments to step out to the curb or smoke in other permitted outdoor smoking areas, cannabis users would have no such legal alternatives,” explained City Council Supervisor Rafael Mandelman.

San Francisco joins 63 other California cities and counties that have all banned the smoking of cigarettes in apartments. The state’s Department of Public Health will take charge of enforcing the new ordinance. 

The vote provoked a wave of reaction. While many among the 420 faithful clearly approved of the rule, some viewed it as government overreach and questioned how exactly the authorities planned to enforce the ban.

Education-focused initiatives highlighting the dangers of smoking, along with information about ways to quit smoking will be the first measures used to encourage users to kick the habit, though repeat offenders may face $1,000 fines or even eviction. 

The ordinance must pass a second vote and be signed off by the city’s mayor in order for the law to take effect some 30 days later. 

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