DeSaulnier pushes for smoking ban



State Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, has introduced legislation that would close loopholes in workplace smoking rules and effectively banning lighting up anywhere on the job.

Exemptions in the existing state law allow smoking in certain areas of a hotel/motel lobby and meeting and banquet rooms, retail or wholesale tobacco shops, warehouses, breakrooms, businesses with five or fewer employees and other specified locations.

California already has among the most stringent anti-smoking laws in the country.

Senate Bill 575 would end the exemptions and prohibit all smoking in the workplace.

Read on for DeSaulnier’s news release:

DeSaulnier Introduces Legislation to Eliminate Workplace Smoking

Senate Bill 575 Closes Loopholes in California Law that Expose Workers to Second Hand Smoke

While once the leader in protecting workers from the toxic effects of secondhand smoke, California has fallen far behind. This is due to the exemptions and loopholes in California’s Smoke-Free Workplace law. Because of these loopholes thousands of California workers and patrons of certain businesses continue to be exposed to secondhand smoke. To protect those workers and patrons, Senator Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) today introduced SB 575 to eliminate loopholes in the state’s Smoke-Free Workplace law.

“California workers should not be exposed to secondhand smoke and the health risks associated with it,” said DeSaulnier. “They go to work to earn an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work, not to breathe in carcinogens. It is time to bring California’s once-groundbreaking Smoke-Free Workplace law into the 21st Century.”

“Californians are rightfully proud of the fact that we led the effort to make workplaces smoke-free so they are surprised to learn that the states that followed in our footsteps have now lapped us in providing stronger protections for workers,” said Alecia Sanchez, Director of State Legislative Advocacy, American Cancer Society, California Division. “Twenty-four states have received the 100% smoke-free designation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sadly, California is not among them. This bill will correct that.‪”

“The American Heart Association has long advocated for smoke-free workplace ordinances at the state and local levels,” said Dr. Charlie Shaeffer, American Heart Association advocate. “Secondhand smoke kills an estimated 38,000 Americans annually, 35,000 of which are from heart disease. By closing the loopholes in California’s current law, it can help decrease a nonsmoker’s risk of heart disease,” continued Dr. Shaeffer.

“It’s time for California to close the loopholes on dangerous secondhand smoke in the workplace ,” said Jane Warner, President and CEO for the American Lung Association in California. “There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke and people exposed increase their risk of developing lung cancer by 20 to 30 percent,” according to the U.S. Surgeon General’s 2006 report on secondhand smoke.

Exemptions in the Smoke-Free Workplace law allow smoking in certain areas of a hotel/motel lobby and meeting and banquet rooms, retail or wholesale tobacco shops, warehouses, breakrooms, businesses with five or fewer employees and other specified locations. SB 575 would remove those exemptions thereby prohibiting smoking in those workplaces. This bill is co-sponsored by the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association and the American Heart Association.

Lisa Vorderbrueggen

  • Wayne

    He wants toban smoking, but legalize pot? Go figure…

    Another idiot legislator.

  • Wendy Lack

    Great. Just what California needs: more regulation. \sarc\

    Why are state legislators focused on micromanaging individual behavior when the state’s economy is imploding and the state budget needs attention? At best, this looks like a case of denial; at worst, an abdication of responsibility.

  • Common Tater

    It’s no problem for MDS to target an easy mark that is afraid to fight back. Let’s see him show some real stones and get rid of public employee collective bargaining in California.

  • Elwood

    Part time legislature meets briefly every two years.

    Does away with many useless bills such as this one and career politicians like Marky Mark.

  • Senator Mark Desaulnier is the author of the bill that allows public employees to spike their pensions so they receive pension payments that are greater than their salary.

    74% of the $850,000 raised by Senator Desaulnier came from lobbyville –Sacramento. Sacramento is NOT in the Senator’s district

    Senator Desaulnier agress that UC Berkeley Chancellor Birgeneau should recruit outside California to meet latino/diversity goals.

    Remember the Senator.

  • ralph hoffmann

    CA shouldn’t regulate individual behavior thus giving a woman the right to end a pregnancy and Gays and Lesbians the right to marry.

  • ralph hoffmann

    Suicide by smoking, or any other means isn’t a right.

  • The kids do not know the difference between tobacco and pot. If they smell smoke on a person, they think it is pot. People get accused of marijuana and pot and weed when they have been smoking ordinary tobacco cigarettes. This is what I have been able to figure out in more than five years of substitute teaching here and in San Francisco. For kids, smoking cigarettes is just as illegal as smoking weed. I think it would never even occur to most kids to smoke, except sometimes their parents do.

  • Common Tater

    You want us to believe that kids (12-17 years old) can’t tell the difference between cigarette smoke and pot smoke?

    You also want us to believe that kids would never think to smoke unless they see their parents smoke?


  • John W

    People in their 30’s or younger would probably be surprised to know there was a time when people were allowed to smoke on passenger planes. Gawd, was that awful!

  • Tom Benigno

    That might be a bad decision for Mark, being he owns a restaurant. That decision might run off some of his customers. Just a thought, that is a brave bill for him to push. Good luck.

  • Lisa Vorderbrueggen

    FYI, DeSaulnier sold his restaurant when he was elected to the state Senate.

  • Tom Benigno

    Thanks for the update,the bill still could hurt other business’s

  • Tom Benigno

    By the way I don’t smoke.

  • Rob Cherep

    This bill is a redux of SB 1467 that was passed and vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger. We have serious issues in the this state but this is not one of them. We need to keep our eye on the ball…

  • Rob Cherep

    I have enjoyed cigars for the past 17 years and while I wasn’t thrilled when Section 6404.5 of the Labor Code was enacted but I understood the movement. At this point, going further to ban smoking in Tobacco Shops just doesn’t make sense. The only people who are affected are consumers of tobacco. This includes the owners and employees of the shop. We are adults making an adult decision. We don’t need a nanny. I respect people who don’t want to breath 2nd hand smoke. Respect my choice to go to a designated place to enjoy my cigar.