City Hall Watch: Supe proposes ban on tobacco promotions 

The City is going after the tobacco industry for distributing free products, discount coupons for cigarettes, T-shirts and other promotional gimmicks.

"The tobacco industry is very savvy at aiming its free poison on the unsuspecting and vulnerable young people," said Supervisor Sophie Maxwell, who introduced legislation Tuesday banning the free distribution of tobacco products and tobacco-promotion items in public places. The proposal imposes up to $500 in penalties for repeat offenses. Maxwell’s bill comes as The City is considering two other restrictions on tobacco.

"We are the only city in the Bay Area that still allows tobacco sampling, free distribution of tobacco products," Maxwell said. "Our city has become a magnet for the tobacco industry’s sponsored bar nights and activities."

Today, the Board of Supervisors City Operations and Neighborhood Services Committee is scheduled to vote on two separate proposals that would restrict smoking. One proposal, introduced by Mayor Gavin Newsom, would prohibit the sale of tobacco products at pharmacies or drugstores.

Another proposal, introduced by Supervisor Chris Daly, would expand on the public areas that prohibit smoking to include such areas as 20 feet from any entrance, exit or operable window of private nonresidential buildings, outdoor eating areas and in lines for such services as event tickets.

IN OTHER ACTION

» In a 7-4 vote, a proposal to end the practice of using union-backed security guards at San Francisco General Hospital and other medical clinics and instead contract them out to save money was rejected. Supervisors Jake McGoldrick, Michela Alioto-Pier, Carmen Chu and Sean Elsbernd supported privatizing the security guards. McGoldrick noted that by not outsourcing, the board will now have to make $5 million in cuts to The City’s proposed $6.5 billion budget. The board is scheduled to take a first vote on the budget next week.

» A charter amendment ballot measure making it more difficult to recall a sitting member of the Board of Supervisors was placed on the November ballot after a 7-4 vote. The measure was proposed by Supervisor Jake McGoldrick who himself was the object of an unsuccessful recall effort last year.

The City currently requires 10 percent of the registered voters in a district to put a recall measure on the ballot. The measure would adhere to state law percentages based on the number of registered voters, which would increase the percentage in most districts to 20 percent.

» McGoldrick introduced legislation that revives Mayor Gavin Newsom’s plan to spend $498,000 for the so-called Community Justice Center in the Tenderloin area that puts social services and legal prosecution in one building.

The Board of Supervisors, including McGoldrick, previously rejected the funding, and Newsom then placed a measure on the November ballot authorizing the spending.

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

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