Statement of the President of

San Francisco’s Hotel and Restaurant Employees Union

on Smoke-Free Workplace Laws

February 26, 2001

To Whom It May Concern:

When smoke-free workplace legislation was proposed in California, some hospitality-based unions were opposed. They were concerned about the potential economic impact such legislation would have. Now 5 years later, it is obvious that such concerns were unfounded. Smoke-Free workplace legislation is not only good for health, it is also good for business.

Moreover, medical costs as well as lost work time are proven to be vastly reduced when employees work in an environment free of smoke and other harmful workplace hazards. Secondhand smoke is not only widely recognized to cause cancer, it is also strongly associated with a greater frequency of illness in general.

Every worker deserves a smoke-free environment. No worker should have to breathe someone else's smoke in order to hold a job. The health of hospitality workers is just as important as the health of bankers, lawyers, doctors, politicians, and everyone else who, for many years, have enjoyed a healthy, safe, smoke-free work environment.


Mike Casey
San Francisco Hotel and Restaurant Employees Union
San Francisco, California