Legislation Part of Comprehensive Anti-Tobacco Reforms
SACRAMENTO—The California Legislature has passed a bill by Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-Monterey Bay) to protect California’s workers and business patrons from the dangerous health effects of secondhand smoke. Assembly Bill x2-7 ends several long-standing exemptions to workplace smoking laws and will better protect Californians from the health effects of secondhand smoke.
“When California banned smoking in the workplace in 1994, it led the nation in protecting its citizens from the dangers of secondhand smoke. At the time, several exceptions were allowed, and now many other states have more effective laws than we do to reduce workers’ and customers’ smoke exposure in the workplace,” said Stone. “This bill will help California catch up to other states on this important health safety policy.”
Twenty-six other states including Washington, D.C. have comprehensive smoke-free laws and have been deemed 100% smoke free by the Centers for Disease Control. With so many remaining exemptions to workplace smoking bans, California cannot make the same claim.
This much-needed bill bans smoking in hotel lobbies, hotel meeting and banquet rooms, warehouses, employee break rooms, gaming clubs, and bars and taverns. The measure also prohibits smoking in the public areas of owner-operated businesses and lowers the percentage of allowable available smoking rooms in hotels from 65% to 20%.
The measures now await consideration by the Governor.