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Legal Challenge to Medically Correct Smoking Bans

Phil Gunby
JAMA. 1994;271(8):577. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510320017005.
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SAN FRANCISCO'S antismoking ordinance, which went into effect at the beginning of this month, is being challenged in a California court by the Philip Morris Co and some of the city's hotel and tavern operators.

The ordinance now bans smoking in offices and would ban smoking in restaurants after this year. The court challenge contends that California's workplace safety regulations preempt any such city ordinance.

Some businesses in Los Angeles are challenging a similar ordinance there. It bans smoking in restaurants.

Some antitobacco advocates see such court challenges as part of a larger campaign by tobacco interests to convince state legislatures to pass laws—presumably less restrictive to smokers—that would preempt city ordinances.

At the same time the San Francisco legal battle is being joined, the American Cancer Society is circulating its annual Cancer Facts & Figures report. It says the most current available data indicate some 46 million persons in


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