2. Beginnings: The
Nonsmokers' Rights Movement
In the early 1970s a few people had the radical idea that nonsmokers
should not have to breathe secondhand tobacco smoke. At that time it was considered
impolite to ask people not to smoke. Smoking was not only acceptable; it was the norm. The
executive director of the California division of the American Lung Association was a
chain-smoker, and the American Heart Association distributed ashtrays and packs of
cigarettes at its board meetings. Offering someone a cigarette was a way to open social
discourse. Even the most ardent nonsmokers' rights advocates were only seeking nonsmoking
sections in public places. No one dared even think of a smoke-free society.
Finding little support from the mainstream health organizations like the
American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, and American Lung Association,
nonsmokers' rights activists formed a loose network of grassroots organizations with
various names, the most common being Group Against Smoking Pollution or GASP. The
nonsmokers' rights activists viewed smoking and the tobacco industry as a social,
environmental, and political problem; in contrast, the medical establishment
”including most of the voluntary health organizations ”viewed smoking as a
medical problem in which individual patients (smokers) were to be treated (by telling them
to stop smoking). The establishment's approach did not mesh easily with the tobacco
control advocates' policy-oriented approach.
While the medical and health establishments did not take the
nonsmokers' rights movement seriously, the tobacco industry did. The industry recognized
the issue of secondhand smoke as a major threat to the social support network that it had
spent decades building around tobacco use. As early as 1973, the tobacco industry clearly
identified the emerging nonsmokers' rights movement as a problem: More and
more, smoking is being pictured as socially unacceptable. The goal seems [to be] the
involvement of others ”non-smokers, children, etc. ”in addition to health and
government organizations. The main thrust of these zealots seems to be that `smoking is
not a personal right because it hurts others; that smoking harms non-smoking adults,
children, and even the yet unborn.' 
By 1978, the industry recognized the full dimensions of the threat
represented by the nonsmokers' rights movement. A research report prepared by the Roper
Organization for the Tobacco Institute (the tobacco industry's political arm) concluded:
The original Surgeon General's report, followed by this first
hazard warning on cigarette packages, the subsequent
danger warning on cigarette packages, the removal of cigarette
advertising from television and the inclusion of the danger warning in
cigarette advertising, were all blows of sorts for the tobacco industry.
They were, however, blows that the cigarette industry could successfully weather because
they were all directed against the smoker himself.
The anti-smoking forces' latest tack, however ”on the passive
smoking issue ”is another matter. What the smoker does to himself may be his
business, but what the smoker does to the non-smoker is quite a different matter. ¦
Nearly six out of ten believe that smoking is hazardous to the nonsmokers' health, up
sharply over the last four years. More than two-thirds of nonsmokers believe it; nearly
half of all smokers believe it.
This we see as the most dangerous development to the viability of the
tobacco industry that has yet occurred. [emphasis added]
The nonsmokers' rights movement was growing and having some
significant legislative successes. In 1973 the Arizona Legislature ended smoking in
elevators, libraries, theaters, museums, concert halls, and buses. In 1975 Minnesota
mandated separate smoking areas in restaurants, meeting rooms, and workplaces, in addition
to the types of restrictions put in place in Arizona. The
Minnesota law was the last time that clean indoor air legislation would pass without
vigorous opposition from the tobacco industry.
The Berkeley Ordinance
In the spring of 1973, lawyer and legal editor Peter Hanauer went to a
meeting of Berkeley GASP after his wife saw a meeting notice on a community bulletin
board. Hanauer recalled, It was a fairly ineffective group at the time. I
mean, we were busy grinding out leaflets and trying to get a few new members here and
there.  While there were thoughts about some greater level of
activism ”two of the founders, Irene and Dave Peterson, had created a foundation to
provide legal representation to people who were affected by secondhand smoke in the
workplace ”not much happened until they were joined by Paul Loveday, a former
professional basketball player turned lawyer. Loveday brought a clear vision and strong
leadership to the group and soon became president of GASP. The aggressive Loveday and
studious Hanauer, who was elected treasurer, were the odd couple that
became the backbone of the nonsmokers' rights movement in California.
Encouraged by the Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act, GASP, led by Loveday,
Hanauer, and Tim Moder, a chemist who turned his home into the group's headquarters, decided to persuade the Berkeley City Council to pass an ordinance
restricting smoking in public indoor spaces and requiring separate sections for smokers
and nonsmokers in restaurants. Although they wanted a statewide law, they knew there was
little chance of success without some preliminary steps. Passing a local law would show
that nonsmoking sections were possible and would give them some experience in writing
legislation. The proposed ordinance was introduced in the Berkeley City Council in April
After a year-long campaign, which included numerous city council
meetings as well as meetings with restauranteurs and local merchants, the Berkeley City
Council passed the ordinance by a 9-0 vote in April 1977. The Berkeley victory illustrated
an important lesson for Hanauer: At the local level, as we discovered over the
years, we could beat the tobacco industry, because their lobbyists could not defeat
grassroots organizations who had the ears of their neighbors and friends who were on the
city council. 
Their Berkeley success encouraged Loveday and Hanauer to try to get
the California Legislature to pass a state clean indoor air law. The tobacco industry,
having learned its lesson in Minnesota, vigorously and successfully blocked GASP's attempt
to replicate the Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act in California. The bill did not even get
out of committee.
After failing in the legislature, Loveday and Hanauer decided to take
the issue directly to the voters through California's initiative process. The initiative,
known as the California Clean Indoor Air Act, made smoking illegal in all public places
unless they were specifically exempted. It required that partitions be erected in offices
and public places, including restaurants, to separate smokers and nonsmokers. Violators
were to be fined fifty dollars. In an effort to write an enforceable and reasonable law,
Loveday and Hanauer included some exemptions, such as tobacco shops. Since the drug laws
were not being enforced at rock concerts, they exempted rock concerts. This exemption,
while reasonable from an intellectual point of view, was to become a major issue in the
campaign. The idea of protecting nonsmokers from secondhand smoke was popular; polls
(including those commissioned by the tobacco industry) showed support by a 3-1 margin.
Putting a proposed law before California voters as a statutory
initiative requires proponents to collect valid signatures of 5 percent of the number who
voted in the previous gubernatorial election, which meant
collecting 300,000 signatures in 1977. While most initiative campaigns rely on paid
signature gatherers, the Proposition 5 advocates did not have that luxury because they had
very little money. Moder became the paid campaign coordinator, working out of his house
with his own printing press. By using campaign workers who were almost all volunteers,
advocates qualified the initiative at a cost of only $50,000, the least amount of money
per signature ever spent to qualify a statewide initiative. The
initiative appeared on the November 1978 ballot as Proposition 5.
Loveday and Hanauer formed a new organization to run the campaign,
Californians for Clean Indoor Air. While nominally a coalition of many health and
environmental groups, GASP provided the backbone of support. Loveday and Hanauer
approached the voluntary health agencies for support, expecting them to be enthusiastic,
but came away disappointed. Only the American Cancer Society (ACS) expressed interest in
the initiative, and that interest was tempered. According to Hanauer,
We did get the ear of Ray Weisberg, who was then the chair of the
Public Affairs Committee of the California Cancer Society. He agreed with us ¦that the
way to really get smoking reduced was to make it socially unacceptable. This was our whole
rationale. We not only felt that eliminating smoking in
public places and the workplace was good for nonsmokers but that it also reduced
smoking in the long run. Of course, the tobacco industry agreed with us. We wished some of
the health agencies had agreed with us as much as the industry did. It took a long time.
The Cancer Society came around mainly because of Ray Weisberg, but the other agencies at
that time were very slow in responding and gave sort of token support.
The voluntary health agencies, particularly the ACS in California,
supported the campaign with some money but were not heavily involved in collecting
signatures or conducting the campaign. Weisberg also convinced the California Medical
Association (CMA) and the American Lung Association (ALA) to support the initiative, which
made Proposition 5 appear more mainstream. The CMA put its name on the letterhead but,
according to Hanauer, wouldn't lift a finger during the whole campaign.  The CMA sent the Yes on Prop 5 campaign a
seven-dollar invoice for some photocopying it had done for the campaign, which Hanauer
refused to pay.
In addition to Weisberg, the other important recruit to the campaign was
Stanton Glantz, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of California at San
Francisco. Glantz, a Ph.D. in applied mechanics and engineering economics, conducted
research on the function of the heart and was an expert in statistics. Glantz, who
combined a background in political activism with his scientific training, would serve as
the campaign's technical expert. Unlike some scientists, he was willing to do public
battle with the tobacco industry.
The Tobacco Industry Joins the Battle
The tobacco industry mobilized against Proposition 5 before it was
even written. According to Ernest Pepples, vice president for law at Brown and Williamson
Tobacco, the industry began planning its strategy
before the terms of Proposition 5 were even known or concepts to
combat it had been developed. Because of the early start a California Action Plan was
presented to the chief executive officers [of the tobacco companies] within three weeks of
the time the sponsors filed their Clean Indoor Air Act initiative and
its provisions became known for the first time. That Action Plan became the basic blue
print of the campaign concepts, strategy, organization and tactics for the entire campaign
to defeat Proposition 5. The Tobacco Institute made Jack Kelly a full time employee
”he had been the paid executive of California's tobacco distributors group ”to
devote all his efforts to the campaign.
The framing of the Proposition 5 debate was important to the tobacco
industry, which wanted to avoid health issues and nonsmokers' rights to clean air. The
industry's preferred framing was that voters should fight off government intrusion. Jim
Stockdale of Philip Morris commented on the rights question:
What troubles me is the danger of having the issue defined at the
onset the way our opponents would like it to be defined, namely smoker vs. non-smoker. Our
strategy should put us on the offensive. ¦Will the anti-smoking groups attempt to
polarize the electorate into two groups ”smokers vs. non-smokers ”or will they
attempt to broaden their appeal by coopting the individual rights argument (i.e., a
non-smoker has an inalienable right to breathe clean air )? We should have
strategies for either situation. We have to clarify the thrust the campaign should take.
The message should be to vote no to further governmental encroachment on
Using this thrust, the industry hoped to broaden its base of support
to include groups such as Libertarians. The call to fight off government intrusion would
persist for the next twenty years in the industry's battles over clean indoor air
Ed Grefe, vice president for public affairs at Philip Morris, became
actively involved in the Proposition 5 campaign and specifically blocked any mention of
the health issue. According to Grefe, the biggest argument I had internally
throughout the entire campaign was to convince the other companies to keep their mouths
shut about the health issue. They would say, `Shouldn't we put out a little brochure?' I
said, `Forget it, we want no goddamn brochure on the health question. We can't win on the
health question. We'll lose.' Legally, they could fight and win on the health question,
they'd been doing it for years, but politically they couldn't. It's no use bucking public
The industry, recognizing from its own polling that it had virtually no
public credibility, decided to act through a nominally independent campaign committee
known as Californians for Common Sense (CCS). Even though CCS was created, financed, and
controlled by the tobacco companies through a closely coordinated effort, CCS attempted to
minimize and even hide its industry connections. The industry wanted the public to believe
that CCS was a group of concerned California citizens. As a result, several important
guiding principles were established to keep the profile of the tobacco industry as low as
possible. As Ernest Pepples of Brown and Williamson wrote in a secret Campaign Report,
- All campaign functions would be operated through the citizens committee, Californians
for Common Sense.
- Tobacco company visibility would be confined to financial contributions to CCS. There
would be no attempt to disclaim or discount the amount of tobacco contributions.
- Tobacco company personnel would not make campaign appearances, occupy campaign positions
or make public statements relative to the campaign.
- No campaign events, programs or advertising would be directed to college campuses,
specifically, or to youth in general.
Although Pepples stated that there would be no attempt to
disclaim or discount the amount of tobacco contributions, the tobacco industry kept
a low profile during the campaign, and campaign spokesmen denied the industry's financial
role until legally required campaign disclosure statements proved the industry was
financing the campaign. On one occasion, CCS issued a press release that misstated tobacco
industry contributions to the campaign by leaving out $300,000 of in-kind campaign
contributions. As in all similar campaigns everywhere since, more than 99 percent of the
money came from the tobacco industry.
In spite of the prominent role given to CCS, however, the tobacco
companies maintained tight control of CCS activities from behind the scenes. As Pepples
noted in his Campaign Report,
A group of 5 tobacco company representatives consisting of Jim Dowdell
who was succeeded by Charles Tucker from RJR, Ed Grefe from Philip Morris, Arthur Stevens
from Lorillard, Joe Greer from Liggett & Myers and Ernest Pepples from B&W kept in
constant contact with the operation of CCS. Visits were made at least once a month by the
group to the CCS headquarters in both San Francisco and Los Angeles. Also frequent
telephone conferences were held between Woodward & McDowell [the firm hired to manage
the campaign] and the five company people. During the final month of the campaign, almost
daily conferences were held by telephone including Woodward & McDowell and Jack Kelly
together with Lance Tarrance [the tobacco industry's pollster] in Houston conferring with
the five company representatives.
This tight control by the tobacco companies stood in sharp contrast
with the industry's public position during the campaign: that Proposition 5 was a local
California matter and that Californians for Common Sense was a campaign organization
established by local citizens as a free-standing, autonomous organization. The industry's
actual control also contrasted sharply with that of the national voluntary health
organizations, which treated Proposition 5 as a local California matter and stayed out.
By the end of the campaign, Proposition 5's proponents had raised and
spent $633,465, an amount dwarfed by the tobacco companies' $6.4 million ”divided
among the companies in proportion to their shares of the cigarette market. The
justification for this level of spending was simple in terms of protecting industry sales.
Pepples did the math:
If it is assumed that the passage of Proposition 5 would have
caused a decline in volume of just one cigarette per California smoker per day, the chart
attached to this letter shows the industry would have suffered an after tax loss equal to
$5.9 million in the first year. On that basis, it can be said that the industry will
recover its investment [i.e., the $6.4 million spent to defeat
Proposition 5] over a period of one year. If it is assumed that the passage of Proposition
5 would have caused a decline of 2 cigarettes per day per smoker, then the industry can
expect to recover the $5.9 million expense in only 6 months.
California represents about 10% of the population of the United States
or 20 million people. California is regarded as a trendsetter and theoretically if
Proposition 5 had passed it would have had an impact on sales elsewhere in the United
States. [emphasis added]
The spending by the tobacco industry exceeded the combined
expenditures of both candidates for governor and for many years remained a record for
election spending in California.
The $43 Million Claim
The alleged high cost of implementing the initiative was one of the
tobacco industry's key themes in its campaign against Proposition 5. In the previous
election of June 1978, California voters had passed Proposition 13, which slashed property
taxes and started the taxpayers' revolt, and the issue of government
waste was high on the public agenda. For months the tobacco industry's campaign hammered
the claim that Proposition 5 would cost taxpayers $43 million to implement.
Proposition 5 proponents challenged this claim in letters to television
and radio stations in early September, shortly after the tobacco industry began its
massive advertising campaign against the initiative, asserting that the advertisements
were false and misleading. (Proponents argued that Proposition 5 would
actually save money by reducing smoking and the associated costs.) The stations ignored
this challenge. A couple of weeks later, someone leaked three important documents to the
Yes on 5 campaign: a planning poll that Houston-based pollster V. Lance Tarrance and
Associates had conducted for CCS in December 1977 and two reports presenting cost
estimates for implementing Proposition 5 that provided the basis for the industry's
advertising claims. These documents revealed yet another instance of the industry saying
whatever it thought necessary to sway the public. The Tarrance poll in fact showed strong
support for the idea of clean indoor air among all segments of California voters and
tested the arguments that the industry was considering for its campaign to defeat the
initiative. None of these arguments moved the voters save one: cost to taxpayers.
The pollster asked people three questions about how they would vote,
depending on what the initiative would cost taxpayers to implement.
The initiative gathered a landslide 71.2 percent yes vote if it cost
$0.5 million to implement. The margin of victory dropped substantially if the initiative
cost taxpayers $5 million to implement; only 53.6 percent said they would vote
yes. If the initiative cost $20 million to implement, the
yes vote fell to 41.4 percent and the industry won. The tobacco
industry then hired the consulting firm of Economic Research Associates (ERA), which
produced a report claiming Proposition 5 would cost taxpayers $19.7 million to post No
Smoking signs in state buildings. ERA produced a second report
stating that enforcement would cost another $23 million, bringing the total alleged cost
to $43 million, twice the amount that the tobacco industry needed to push voters toward a
To obtain the $19.7 million cost estimate, ERA assumed that No Smoking
signs would cost $27.50 each, even though hardware stores were selling them for less than
$1.00. ERA made an even more fundamental error: they got the arithmetic wrong. In
estimating the number of No Smoking signs that would be needed, ERA calculated the total
square footage of office space in state buildings and then multiplied the square root of
the office area by 4 to obtain an estimate of the number of linear feet of office walls in
state buildings (it was assumed that signs would be placed at regular intervals). But the
square root of 207.2 million square feet was miscalculated as 14.4 million feet
whereas it should have been 14.4 thousand feet. Thus, even using the industry's own
methods and $27.50 signs, the report overestimated the cost of signs by a factor of 1000.
Simply correcting the arithmetic error brought the industry's cost estimate down to
Loveday and Glantz thought they had caught the industry in a major
scandal. They had the poll showing that a high cost claim was necessary to defeat the
initiative and they had a flawed report that seemed designed to justify the number that
the tobacco industry needed. On September, 19, 1977, they held press conferences in Los
Angeles and Sacramento exposing the poll and the arithmetic error. Unfortunately, few
of the press understood what a square root was. According to Loveday, What
was really funny; I mean you look back on it and you say, `God this was so aggravating, so
frustrating.' The press didn't understand the math. Stan would try to explain at a press
conference what had happened and that the press just couldn't ¦they didn't know a square
root from a cigarette. ¦You can discover something like that but getting to the
public with that information through the press when the tobacco industry is spending $6
million. ¦It was a pretty uphill battle. 
Even when the initiative's supporters thought they had a winning issue,
the industry quickly recovered. On the way home from their press conference announcing the
mistake, Loveday and Glantz heard a radio advertisement ridiculing the lower number. As
Grefe observed, All that square root stuff? The error is irrelevant. The whole
strategy is to put the other person on the defensive. If I say, `It'll cost a billion
dollars' and you say, `No, it'll only cost a million,' you've lost, you're dead. 
Even though the industry was successful in framing the election fight as
a cost issue at this point, it continued to worry that the health issue could appear.
According to Pepples,
Lance Tarrance's organization kept a close watch on the effect of the
pro-5 advertising. If other people's smoke became a dominant issue in the closing days of
the campaign, we had an alternate ad campaign which was prepared and kept in the can in
case it was needed. It had been tested in Madison, Wisconsin. It was based on work done by
BBD&O [Batten, Barton, Durstine, and Osborne, an advertising firm with longstanding
tobacco accounts]. The testing at Madison showed no perceptible improvement in attitudes
about other people's smoke, but it seemed to be bombproof.
The industry never needed these advertisements because Proposition 5's
supporters never succeeded in getting the campaign focused on health issues. In the end,
the tobacco industry defeated Proposition 5, with 54 percent voting no.
The extent and intensity of the industry's efforts surprised
Proposition 5's proponents. As Hanauer explained,
I think we weren't prepared psychologically or politically for what
hit us. I mean we were a bit naive in those days. We were just a bunch of citizens trying
to get clear indoor air and who could be against that? If people want to smoke, they can
wait and go outside. What's the big deal? We heard the first tobacco industry ads on the
radio against us, months and months in advance.
They started advertising even before we qualified for the ballot. ¦They wanted
to get the public questioning what we were doing as early as possible. ¦We laughed
at the ads ¦we were naive in terms of just how sophisticated the industry really was and
how they could turn the public against what the public had thought was a good idea.
Proposition 5 did have some vulnerabilities that made it open to
attack by the industry. In particular, the specific exceptions to the requirement that
public places provide nonsmoking sections were ridiculed by the industry. For example,
rock concerts, professional bowling and wrestling matches, pool halls, and gaming halls
were exempted. The tobacco industry latched onto this distinction in a biting series of
radio advertisements ridiculing the initiative.
Even in defeat Loveday believed that something had been accomplished. He
observed, Prior to Proposition 5, people who were concerned about nonsmokers'
rights were looked on as real kooks; maybe you'd read something about it on the 42nd page.
That's not true anymore; it's a very respectable issue. We have now gotten the point that
people's cigarette smoke is harmful to the nonsmokers. And I think we've laid the
groundwork where we can have something like this passed in the future in California and
other places.  Indeed, since strategists for the tobacco
industry knew that people did not approve of secondhand smoke, the campaign against
Proposition 5 had to acknowledge that secondhand smoke was bad while claiming that
Proposition 5 was worse. Pepples acknowledged the industry's vulnerability in California:
After election surveys show that 71% of the electorate say they would support
`some regulation' of smoking in public places.  In the process
of defeating Proposition 5, however, the tobacco industry ran the largest public awareness
campaign on secondhand smoke the world had ever seen.
While the tobacco industry did what it had to do to win, there were
limits to the strategies it would pursue. Attacking the Legislature could have helped
defeat the initiative, but this strategy was rejected because the industry was worried
about offending its defenders in the Legislature, where it had historically been well
protected. According to Pepples,
Woodward & McDowell very much wanted to carry a theme in the
advertising which was a parody on the legislature. The opinion surveys indicated that the
voters currently hold the legislature in very low esteem. The proponents had begun to
respond to our original message that this was a bad law, poorly drafted. They conceded
that it had some flaws but said not to worry, the legislature will take care of any flaw
by amendment. Woodward &
McDowell, therefore, urged a direct attack on the legislature to take advantage of the
negative voter attitudes toward the legislature and to crowd the proponents into a corner.
The companies differed in their reaction but after internal discussion, it was agreed that
the tobacco industry must live with the California legislature for years to come and
should not damage its relations by supporting advertising which made fun of the
This caution proved to be a wise move, since the California
Legislature consistently supported the tobacco industry on a wide range of issues over the
years, in particular with regard to diverting Proposition 99 funds away from tobacco
control. As always, the tobacco industry was thinking in the long term.
Loveday would get a chance to try again in just two years, when he,
Hanauer, and their compatriots presented California's voters with Proposition 10.
After the defeat of Proposition 5 in November 1978, its key proponents
were exhausted, even though many supporters were urging them to try again. A few months
after the Proposition 5 defeat, Glantz and his wife, Marsha, had dinner with Loveday and
the inevitable subject of a second attempt came up. Loveday responded, Are you
nuts? I'm going to go out and make some money! Two weeks later, Loveday called
Glantz and asked him if he would join a new effort to try another statewide initiative.
In the June 1978 election, California voters had overwhelmingly passed
Proposition 13, the Jarvis-Gann Initiative, which drastically cut property taxes, despite
the fact that most of the state's political and business establishment opposed it. The
campaign to pass Proposition 13 was managed by a relatively new political consulting firm
A major electoral victory naturally attracts attention to a consulting
firm, even if the victory is on a comparatively easy issue, such as getting people to vote
to cut their own taxes. But Butcher-Forde also attracted attention within the California
political community for the innovative way in which it managed and financed the campaign
to qualify and pass Proposition 13. Rather than relying on volunteer or paid circulators
to gather the necessary signatures along with a separate fund-raising campaign,
Butcher-Forde combined these two operations. They ran a large direct mail campaign in
which they sent petitions to prospective supporters with a request that they sign the
petitions (and ask a few friends to sign), then return the signed petitions together with
a donation. Thus, rather than costing money to collect the necessary signatures, the
process of collecting the signatures became a fund-raising device. In the process,
Butcher-Forde built a mailing list of supporters that could be sent subsequent
fund-raising appeals to finance the election campaign. And, of course, Butcher-Forde took
a commission on every piece of direct mail that was sent.
After winning Proposition 13, William Butcher and Arnold Forde were
looking for another campaign to manage. Based on polling, they identified clean indoor air
as a popular issue with the voters. They approached Loveday and Hanauer with a proposal
that Butcher-Forde manage a campaign for a new clean indoor air initiative. Loveday and
Hanauer would write the initiative and serve as spokesmen and Butcher-Forde would do the
rest. They would raise the money, qualify the initiative, and run a winning campaign. It
all seemed so easy.
Hanauer and Loveday drafted a new initiative, cleaning up some of the
problems with Proposition 5 and calling it the Smoking and No Smoking Sections Initiative.
The new initiative did not distinguish between rock and jazz concerts, eliminated the need
for partitions, limited what government could spend on signs, provided for citations for
violators, and gave nonsmokers fewer protections than Proposition 5 would have.
Californians for Clean Indoor Air was renamed Californians for Smoking and No Smoking
Sections to run the campaign, coalition partners were recruited, and the effort for a new
initiative was formally started on August 24, 1979.
Unfortunately, Butcher-Forde found that getting people to give money to
support clean indoor air was not as easy as getting them to support cutting their own
taxes. The consulting firm dumped Californians for Smoking and No Smoking Sections two
months into the signature drive. According to Hanauer,
[Butcher-Forde] started organizing these fund-raising letter
campaigns. They discovered early on what we had discovered during Prop 5, that this is not
a pocketbook issue for people. That there are a lot of people who say, Yes,
we're with you, but if you get $10 out of them, you're lucky. ¦By the time we
were halfway through the signature drive, the two of them came up to wine and dine Paul
and me at a dinner at the airport, basically to kiss us off and say, I guess
you realize this is not a pocketbook issue and there's no way we can continue on this
because we're losing our shirts. And we were happy to get rid of them because we
didn't like them.
Butcher-Forde's departure was a problem for tobacco control advocates,
however. It was one thing to run a campaign and be defeated at the polls by a multimillion
dollar advertising blitz from the tobacco industry. It was quite another to sponsor an
initiative that did not even qualify for the ballot. Advocates felt that they could not
back away from the initiative campaign.
Loveday, Hanauer, and their colleagues began a frantic effort to
mobilize the old grassroots network and raise money. In the end, they managed to collect
the necessary signatures, thanks in part to the opening of the Star Wars sequel, The
Empire Strikes Back. The film was immensely popular and attracted long lines.
Volunteers worked the lines to collect signatures. On June 26, 1980, the initiative
qualified for the November 1980 ballot as Proposition 10.
The tobacco industry started detailed planning to defeat Proposition 10
well before it qualified for the ballot. On February 25, 1980, the tobacco industry's
polling firm, Tarrance and Associates, presented a detailed analysis of Proposition 10,
showing some changes in voter attitudes since 1978. According to the company's analysis,
These data suggest a strong feeling of `fair' play and equal rights on the
side of the anti-smokers that has not been apparent in previous campaigns.  Proposition 10 had the early support of 72 percent of the voters,
up from the 68 percent that Proposition 5 had at the same time, primarily because
nonsmokers felt that they had a right to clean indoor air. The report warned the industry
that its successful campaign against Proposition 5 did not lessen the
public's desire for smoking regulation, it only convinced the public that Proposition 5
was a bad law (emphasis in original).
Tarrance and Associates suggested that Proposition 10 was more popular
than Proposition 5 because it appeared to insure equal rights for smokers and nonsmokers
and it lacked specifics about place, time, and enforcement methods. The report recommended
these primary campaign themes to oppose the initiative: the ambiguity of the law and the
power it would give to bureaucrats, the inequality of the bill because it gave
preferential treatment to nonsmokers, the waste of police resources, the outrageousness of
the fine, the adequacy of current law, and the undesirability of government intrusion in
The tobacco industry hired Robert Nelson and Eileen Padberg of the
political consulting firm of Robert Nelson and Associates to run the campaign. Nelson
incorporated Californians Against Regulatory Excess (CARE) on June 12, 1980, to serve as
the front group to run the
campaign. They then proceeded to recruit some prominent Californians to serve on the
CARE's board of directors. The fact that the campaign manager
recruited the board (rather than the other way around) underscored the fact that the board
was mere window dressing. Indeed, before the board ever held a formal meeting, Nelson had
retained the advertising agency Woodward, McDowell & Larson, the same agency that had
run the campaign against Proposition 5, to develop and run CARE's ads against Proposition
While the tobacco industry's money bought them victory in 1978 in the
Proposition 5 campaign, their spending started to hurt them toward the end of the
campaign. Mervyn Field, head of the nonpartisan Field Institute, which conducts the
California Poll, observed two years later: Another negative aspect to
disproportionately heavy advertising is that it becomes an issue in itself. For example,
with Proposition 5, the fact that the tobacco industry was spending as much money as it
was to defeat it, became an issue. There was a sort of a counter trend in the closing days
of the campaign. If the tobacco industry had spent a couple more million dollars, it
might have lost the election (emphasis added). Aware
that the tobacco industry and its money had become an issue in the Proposition 5 campaign,
CARE attempted to minimize tobacco industry involvement in the Proposition 10 campaign,
despite the fact that the organization was established by and for the tobacco industry. On
August 15, 1980, CARE distributed a letter stating, Cost prohibits the No on
10 campaign from using media.  In September 1980, when an
interviewer from the Los Angeles Times asked Padberg, Do you need the
cigarette companies to fight this measure? Padberg responded, We could
do it without them. It certainly would be a lot easier with them. But we could do it
without them.  In the end, the tobacco companies delayed their
major advertising blitz until the weeks just before the election, pouring a relatively
restrained $2.7 million into the CARE campaign against Proposition 10.
Although proponents of the initiative spent $707,678, it was not enough
money to overcome the industry's saturation advertising. The voters rejected Proposition
10 by the same margin ”54 percent no, 46 percent yes
”as they had Proposition 5 two years earlier.
In December 1980, a month after losing the Proposition 10 election,
Loveday, Hanauer, Glantz, Weisberg, and Chuck Mawson (a volunteer who had kept an industry
look-alike bill bottled up in the state legislature during the
Proposition 10 fight) got together in Hanauer's living room in the Berkeley hills to
decide what to do next. After suffering their second defeat in a statewide initiative,
they decided that it was time to change tactics. The Legislature was clearly under the
thumb of the tobacco industry and, while the public supported the idea of clean indoor
air, the nonsmokers' rights advocates recognized that they could not raise the money
needed to counter effectively the tobacco industry's advertising campaigns against a state
initiative. On the other hand, they knew from both polling and personal experience that
the public supported clean indoor air.
They decided to work on local ordinances because the one clear success
they could point to was the Berkeley local clean indoor air ordinance. They decided to
focus the limited resources of the nonsmokers' rights advocates on one community at a
time. They reasoned that, while the tobacco industry would almost certainly oppose every
ordinance, their campaign contributions, lobbyists, and massive advertising campaigns
would not work as effectively as well-organized residents who knew the members of the city
council and favored the ordinance. To raise money, advocates decided to use the mailing
list that had been developed during the campaigns for Propositions 5 and 10. Ray Weisberg
promised to seek seed money from the American Cancer Society, and Chuck Mawson quit his
job as a computer salesman to work full time on the effort, together with the campaign's
part-time bookkeeper, Bobbie Jacobson. The campaign organization was renamed Californians
for Nonsmokers' Rights (CNR), and the nonsmokers' rights movement entered a new phase.
Seven months later, on July 15, 1981, the first local clean indoor air
ordinance was enacted when the city council of Ukiah, a small town 150 miles north of San
Francisco, adopted an ordinance that was essentially identical to Proposition 10. Over the
next three years, CNR continued to identify and work with local activists throughout
California, and by May 1983 twenty-one cities or counties had passed local clean indoor
air ordinances. CNR's local ordinance strategy was working.
The San Francisco Ordinance
Quentin Kopp, a powerful member of the San Francisco Board of
Supervisors, had supported Proposition 5, and Hanauer knew him personally. Hanauer had
approached Kopp on several occasions about the possibility of carrying a San Francisco
ordinance, and in 1983 Kopp agreed to introduce a comprehensive clean indoor air ordinance
for public places and workplaces. But before he could introduce his ordinance, another
supervisor, Wendy Nelder, surprised everyone by announcing that she was going to introduce
an ordinance limited to workplaces.
A week later Hanauer was on San Francisco radio station KCBS discussing
smoking issues in general and CNR specifically, along with Michael Eriksen, who was in
charge of health issues for Pacific Bell. (Eriksen subsequently became head of the federal
Office on Smoking and Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.) Hanauer
mentioned that CNR was working on a San Francisco ordinance without giving details. Nelder
was angry that Hanauer had not mentioned her name and let him know that she wanted nothing
to do with him or CNR. CNR was placed in the awkward position of working for an ordinance
whose principal sponsor would not talk to the organization's members. Despite the
personality problems and vigorous opposition from the tobacco industry, the Board of
Supervisors passed Nelder's workplace smoking ordinance by a vote of 10-1 on May 31, 1983.
San Francisco became the twenty-second locality in California to enact a clean indoor air
ordinance when Mayor Dianne Feinstein signed it into law on June 3, 1983.
The ordinance required that all workplaces have policies on smoking that
accommodated the needs of smokers and nonsmokers. If an accommodation acceptable to the
nonsmoker could not be found, however, the work area would have to be smoke free. Using
language suggested by the Bank of America, the ordinance gave flexibility to employers but
established the right to a smoke-free environment for employees.
While the San Francisco ordinance was neither the first nor the
strongest, it attracted national and international media attention.
The Tobacco Industry's Counterattack
On June 14, 1983, less than two weeks after Feinstein signed the
ordinance, several people who described themselves as a group of union leaders
and small businessmen announced that they were organizing a petition campaign to
overturn the ordinance at the polls the following November. The
group was nominally chaired by Jim Foster, a gay political activist and founder of San
Francisco's Alice B. Toklas Democratic Club. The Chamber of Commerce announced that it was
supporting the effort to overturn the ordinance, reversing an earlier agreement with
CNR to support the measure. The campaign against the San
Francisco Workplace Ordinance was initially called Californians Against Government
Intrusion, but the name was changed to San Franciscans Against Government Intrusion
(SFAGI), possibly because the acronym of the original name was pronounced
cagey.  The group had until July 1 (thirty days
from the date of passage) to collect 19,000 valid signatures for suspending the law and
forcing a referendum on the November ballot. David Looman, a political consultant and
SFAGI committee member, said, The tobacco industry has been asked for
contributions, but no money has been received from any tobacco firm yet. 
The industry provided a substantial war chest ”over a million
dollars ”and hired Nelson-Padberg Consulting (Eileen Padberg had been promoted to a
full partnership with Robert Nelson since they had directed the Proposition 10 campaign)
to run the San Francisco campaign. Over half the initial budget of $1,046,000, as of July
12, was for advertising, including direct mail, radio, and television. The money that the
industry put into the campaign was only part of the effort; the cigarette companies
planned to reach smokers with cigarette carton inserts or stickers and point-of-sale
materials. As the Nelson-Padberg campaign plan makes clear,
Foster and SFAGI had very little to do with decision making for the actual campaign, all
of which had been planned in July 1983.
In order to collect over 19,000 valid signatures in the two weeks
remaining before the July 1 deadline, the tobacco industry hired the Southern California
firm of Bader and Associates to collect over 40,000 signatures.
The industry's use of paid signature-gatherers, at a cost of $40,000, made it difficult to
hide the fact that the tobacco industry was financing the repeal effort.
For activists who had been involved in the campaigns for Propositions 5
and 10, the pattern over the next five months was predictable from previous industry
behavior. A campaign manager would be hired to create a grassroots
organization. The industry would then pretend that this organization was independent,
vigorously denying industry involvement. In fact, the campaign would be funded by the
industry and managed by the firm it had hired. When the campaign finance laws finally
required disclosure of the fact that virtually all the money came from the tobacco
companies, the anti-ordinance campaign would continue to assert that they were just
interested citizens who approached the benign tobacco industry for
help. As the tobacco industry has always
done, the campaign against the ordinance would avoid discussing health dangers of
secondhand smoke and focus instead on the costs of enforcement and the issue of government
Tobacco Control Advocates Mobilize
While irritated with Nelder, ordinance proponents immediately
mobilized to defend the ordinance at the polls. At a meeting in Weisberg's home in San
Francisco's Seacliff district, Weisberg, Loveday, Hanauer, Glantz, and others decided to
create a new independent political committee to raise the funds to run a Yes on
Proposition P campaign to defend the ordinance. Since Hanauer and Loveday lived outside
San Francisco and Glantz, a San Francisco resident, was president of CNR, none of them
seemed an appropriate chair for the campaign. Weisberg accepted the chairmanship of the
effort and pledged to use his connections with the ACS to obtain $15,000 to get the
campaign off the ground. The San Francisco Lung Association also contributed $7,500. CNR
committed its mailing list for fund-raising purposes, even though everyone recognized that
diverting donations away from CNR would create severe financial problems.
From the beginning, the theme of local control was the centerpiece of
the campaign to uphold the ordinance. On August 17 the proponents held a press
conference on the steps of the San Francisco City Hall to announce formation of their
campaign organization, San Franciscans for Local Control; Weisberg explained that the law
is to protect the health of people who live and work in San Francisco.
¦Our concern is the public welfare of San Francisco and the integrity of its
legislative process. The tobacco companies' only concern is to sell more cigarettes.  The group hired Ken Masterton to manage the campaign and opened an
office in San Francisco's Castro district.
Nelson-Padberg pointed out to the tobacco industry that the
campaign will be closely watched by major cities throughout America, and the conduct of
the campaign ”as well as the elections' results ”will have major implications to
attempts to adopt similar ordinances in other municipalities. 
Tobacco control advocates thought it was remarkable that the tobacco industry considered
the San Francisco ordinance so important; as a result, they also viewed the fight as
That summer, when Glantz and Hanauer attended the World Conference on
Smoking or Health in Winnipeg, Canada, they found a strong interest in the outcome of the
Proposition P fight. Many tobacco control advocates offered suggestions on how to win the
campaign, to which Glantz responded, We don't need ideas, we need money. If we
raise $150,000, we'll win, if we raise $100,000, we'll lose.
The Proposition P Campaign
Polls showed that Proposition P was leading by a 2-1 margin at the
beginning of the campaign, but in the face of the industry attack, the margin narrowed.
The industry's strategy was based on its success in previous campaigns. According to
Nelson-Padberg's planning document of July 1983, the aim was to convince voters that the
ordinance was unnecessary, unworkable, or costly. 
The first objective of the Nelson-Padberg campaign was to secure a list
of voters from the most recent election ”an effort to recall Mayor Dianne Feinstein
because of her support for gun control ”and to sort them by approximately one hundred
variables. A phone canvas of likely voters was planned to identify those opposed to the
ordinance; these voters would then receive a thank-you letter and an application for an
absentee ballot. Undecided voters were to get a gentle push argument as
well as intensive direct mail advertising. Nelson-Padberg planned for twenty paid people
to work five shifts for sixty working days to accomplish the phone screen. The telephone
canvas, which eventually reached 65,000 voter households, formed the basis for the
industry's direct mail campaign, which was concentrated on likely voters, the relatively
conservative western part of San Francisco, blacks, and gays.
The focus on the gay community was clear from the hiring of Foster and from the industry's
effort early in the campaign to raise the fear that Proposition P would set a precedent
that would be used to discriminate against people with AIDS.
To make it difficult for Proposition P supporters to air their ads,
Nelson-Padberg planned to delay its radio and television advertising until the final four
weeks before the election. Unlike the tobacco industry with its essentially unlimited
resources, the Yes on P committee had little money. While the proposition's supporters
hoped to buy some television and radio advertising, they expected to get most of their
advertising space for free under the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)'s Fairness
Doctrine. In 1983 the FCC still required that electronic media fairly present both sides
of controversial issues. Since the passage of
Proposition P was obviously controversial, once the No side began running paid
advertisements, the Yes side could approach the television and radio stations and ask for
free time to respond. Nelson-Padberg recognized this possibility: Earlier
advertising would only stimulate additional Fairness Doctrine opportunities for our
opponents, expose our advertising strategy to long scrutiny, and is not necessary due to
the high voter awareness pre-existing the campaign. 
Exposing the tobacco industry's backing of the No on P campaign was the
central thrust of the ordinance supporters. They attacked the industry at every turn and
sought to capitalize on public distrust of the tobacco industry. They also made a
concerted effort to reduce the effectiveness of the No on P advertising by forcing the
television and radio stations that were broadcasting the advertisements to disclose the
real sponsor ”the tobacco industry, not San Franciscans Against Government Intrusion.
The Federal Communications Act requires that advertisements identify the true sponsor, and
the advertisements against Proposition P listed only San Franciscans Against Governmental
Intrusion as the sponsor, with no mention of the tobacco industry. Volunteer lawyers,
including Loveday, pulled together extensive documentation that the industry was really
paying for the advertisements. They argued that it was the stations (not the sponsors) who
were responsible for seeing that the tag lines on the advertisements
identified the true sponsors. At a press conference Loveday and others announced that they
were sending formal letters to all radio and television stations running the No on P
advertisements to demand that the tag lines be changed to Paid for by the
tobacco industry ; they threatened to file complaints with the FCC against stations that
A few days later, the NBC affiliates in San Francisco ”KRON
television and KNBR radio ”required that the No on P campaign clarify the tag line in
its ads to indicate tobacco industry involvement. Rather than
adding an oral tag line saying that the campaign was paid for by the tobacco industry, the
industry pulled its advertisements off KNBR, one of the largest radio stations in San
Francisco. After threatening to sue the stations, the industry decided to acquiesce on the
television advertisements and changed the visual tag line to get them back on the air
(visual tag lines are not as prominent as oral ones). Even if
other stations did not respond directly to the pressure to correct the tag lines, raising
the issue had helped highlight the tobacco industry's efforts to hide its political
Nelson-Padberg recognized the effectiveness of the Yes on P strategy
surrounding the tag lines:
Californians for Nonsmokers Rights did an excellent job of urging
television stations to give them free television advertising time. Additionally, they were
able to convince KRON-TV that the station should require our campaign to identify our
advertising as having been paid for by San Franciscans Against Government
Intrusion which is financially supported by companies in the tobacco industry. This
requirement by KRON-TV stimulated extensive discussion by other television stations, radio
stations, and daily newspapers in the city. In fact, this action by KRON served as a kind
of a catalyst to the money issue, driving this issue into very sharp
focus in the final days preceding the election.
The favored campaign theme of the proponents got an important shot in
the arm just three weeks before the election.
The Yes on P forces, having learned from the Proposition 5 and 10
campaigns to make the tobacco industry the issue, managed to maintain a consistent message
throughout with the central theme Tell the Tobacco Industry to Butt Out of San
Francisco. Working with a small advertising agency run by Edgar Spizel, they
prepared two television advertisements making this point. One advertisement involved
several well-known San Francisco politicians and other figures of varying political
persuasions; they all agreed on one thing ”that the tobacco industry should butt out
of San Francisco politics. The other, which won an Addy award, showed a cowboy on
horseback riding up a San Francisco street and urging people to tell the tobacco companies
to butt out and vote yes on P.
While the Yes on P forces believed from the beginning that they had a
real chance to win because an election contest against the tobacco industry in San
Francisco would take less money than one throughout the entire state, they grew
increasingly frustrated by the way city politicians were allowing personalities to
interfere in running an effective campaign. According to Hanauer,
It was very exciting because we knew we were in the race this time.
The polls showed that we had a good chance, that we weren't losing ground rapidly like we
had in the other two campaigns. And we had support that we didn't have before, both
editorially and [among] some business people. What we didn't have was Wendy Nelder's
assistance. ¦She wanted to run her own campaign. She insisted on making her own
television spots. They were atrocious. They were the epitome of the bad talking head ¦
Please vote `yes' on P because I say so. ¦She was driving everybody crazy.
¦And we kept trying to persuade her, Don't waste your money on these,
as we have this wonderful advertising campaign.
She had her heart in the right place. She was genuinely concerned
about secondhand smoke, but she didn't know much about the health issue. And she didn't
know the politics of tobacco.
Quentin Kopp, who had a substantial constituency, was another source
of frustration because of his reluctance to back a Nelder ordinance.
San Franciscans for Local Control wanted to use Kopp's name on a flyer being mailed to the
Sunset district, the conservative neighborhood (at least by local standards) in western
San Francisco where Kopp lived and his name would carry weight. Kopp refused, even though
he supported the ordinance.
On November 3, 1983, six days before the election, Tarrance and
Associates reported that Proposition P was still on the way to passing: 50 percent planned
to vote yes, 38 percent no, and 12 percent was
undecided. The Tarrance report added, On the YES side, there are three main
arguments: non-smokers' rights, health hazard, annoyance/irritation. Not only do these
three messages hold together well, they are unanswerable and seem to be dominating the
campaign.  Even before the election results were known, the
tobacco companies were beginning to worry about the fallout. On November 4, 1983, Gene
Ainsworth of RJ Reynolds forwarded the Tarrance poll to Ed Horrigan (an RJR executive),
with this comment:
Passage of the tough Workplace Smoking Ordinance in San Francisco,
with all its attendant press coverage, will trigger a rush to pass similar legislation in
many areas of the nation ”especially in California. In light of these probable
developments the industry needs to consider, on a priority basis, the preparation of a
Model Ordinance ¦as a stop-gap measure which can be used if the
situation in any particular area gets out of control. ¦The long term counter to San
Francisco type legislation is the implementation of an effective industry program to
address the issue. [emphasis added]
The win in San Francisco was not only national but international news.
ABC's Nightline devoted its election-evening program to the Proposition P victory,
and CBS's 60 Minutes did a segment on the campaign. The margin of victory was
narrow ”1,259 votes ”but it was a victory nonetheless and it set the stage for
other localities to pass ordinances.
Lessons from the Proposition P Campaign
The early and prominent role of the industry turned out to be an
important election issue. In analyzing their loss, a Nelson-Padberg report concluded,
If signatures could have been gathered through volunteers, that would have
delayed the issue and perhaps prevented it from ever becoming central. If money could have
been raised from non-tobacco interests in the city of San Francisco, that would have
prevented it from becoming a key issue; or if some other issue could have been made more
important to reporters, that might have shifted or softened the focus, perhaps preventing
the money issue from being so critical later in the campaign. 
Tobacco control advocates had learned how to frame the issue as one of outside
interference by the tobacco industry.
Nelson-Padberg's report also complimented the Yes on P campaign: The Yes on
Proposition P campaign was well managed, tightly focused, selected the issues appropriate
to the problem and made efficient use of their limited resources ¦unlike prior campaigns
[for Propositions 5 and 10], they focused clearly on the health issue in the final days of
the campaign, bringing the public's attention to the most devastating argument available
to them. 
Hanauer believed that at least part of the reason for the proponents' success lay in the
growing sophistication of the press: The industry had a little more unsavory
reputation by this time. And I think the press was much more sympathetic by the time Prop
P came around and much more attuned to questions about finance, tobacco industry lies, and
the health issues. 
On the other hand, Nelson-Padberg called proponents unscrupulous
because of their last two mailers ”one detailing tobacco industry lies and one
featuring stars who had died of lung cancer, thus implying that Proposition P
would somehow fight lung cancer.  About the former mailer, the
Nelson-Padberg report said, Although all of their allegations were
fabrications, the piece was very effective in hammering home their message.  The report also identified other problems that the tobacco industry
had failed to overcome. For example, the Bay Area was home to the leadership of the
Proposition 10 campaign, Loveday, Hanauer, Glantz, and Weisberg, who could
dedicate all of their efforts to the 380,000 registered voters in San Francisco, rather
than the 11,000,000 registered voters statewide. Additionally, 10 of the 11 members of the
Board of Supervisors and the Mayor were publicly committed to support the smoking control
ordinance, creating a most difficult political dynamic to overcome. 
Operating in a more limited media market, proponents could present their message ”in
news stories as well as paid advertising ”more effectively than they had done in the
statewide Proposition 5 and 10 efforts. Hanauer agreed: Certainly $125,000
in one city and county went a lot further than a half a million statewide. 
The report on Proposition P prepared by V. Lance Tarrance outlined for
the industry three of its key problems. First, the tobacco industry's involvement was not
a strong reason for people to vote for the proposition, but the amount of money spent by
the industry was. According to Tarrance, Future campaigns should work to
minimize this issue.  When respondents were asked to evaluate
the industry campaign contributions, 52 percent disapproved and 27 percent approved,
compared with 45 percent and 37 percent, respectively, during the Proposition 5 campaign
in 1978. The campaign contribution issue was becoming a more salient one for voters.
Second, the health effects of secondhand smoke were considered a serious threat. Again,
comparing the two elections, the report found that in 1983 59 percent thought secondhand
smoke was harmful, up from 49 percent in 1978. Third, the message that people should be
allowed to work things out themselves did not get through to people as effectively as the
government intervention issue did, and the accommodation message might
have been a more powerful argument in converting votes.
Among specific voter subgroups, the gay vote was
disappointing. In early polling gays were one group who appeared to be
prepared to vote against the proposition, but in the end their voting pattern was
virtually identical to those of other groups. This fact particularly pleased the Yes on P
forces, for they perceived the tobacco industry concentrating on winning the gay vote.
In 1991, when the Tobacco Institute drafted a report titled
California: A Multifaceted Plan to Address the Negative Environment,  the passage of Proposition P was listed as the first
important event among those that had raised the level of acceptability
of smoking restrictions. Hanauer could agree with the industry on this point:
This was a landmark. I've always said that this was the whole key to the
national nonsmokers' rights movement. If we had lost Prop P, it would have set us back ten
years or more.  In 1989 the US Surgeon General's report Reducing
the Health Consequences of Smoking: Twenty-Five Years of Progress identified the San
Francisco victory as a stimulus to further ordinance activity.
Passing local ordinances rapidly became the preferred strategy for
tobacco control advocates; at the local level they were able to neutralize the
industry's power and portray the industry as outsiders. Local
grassroots advocates were a powerful voice. In 1984 CNR changed
its name to Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights and formally began working to spread the
local ordinance strategy nationwide. By the end of 1986, 112 California cities and
counties (of 192 nationwide) had enacted tough worksite ordinances of their own; by
October 1988, this number had grown to 158 in California (and 289 nationwide).
The tobacco industry also recognized the power of the local ordinance
movement. In a 1986 speech, Raymond Pritchard, chairman of the board of Brown and
Williamson Tobacco, explicitly recognized this fact:
Our record in defeating state smoking restrictions has been reasonably
good. Unfortunately, our record with respect to local measures ”that is cities and
counties across the country ”has been somewhat less encouraging. San Francisco
provides a stark example of what this industry and its customers can face at the local
level. We must somehow do a better job than we have in the past in getting our story told
to city councils and county commissions. Over time we can lose the battle over smoking
restrictions as decisively in bits and pieces ”at the local level ”as with state
or federal measures. [emphasis added]
The defeats of Propositions 5 and 10 contributed in important ways to
the California tobacco control movement. First, the campaigns educated voters about the
dangers of secondhand smoke as well as the rights of nonsmokers to breathe clean indoor
air. Second, the devious nature of the tobacco industry became also more recognized by
politicians, the ordinary voter, and the media. Third, tobacco control activists learned
how to be effective in the political process. Proposition P represented the first big
public defeat that the tobacco industry had ever suffered, and it laid the foundation for
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