The San Francisco Tobacco-Free Coalition is a diverse grassroots coalition of health, youth-serving, and environmental agencies from around the Bay Area.
Tobacco-Free Coalition members prioritize and lead educational and organizing campaigns for a variety of tobacco control initiatives, including limiting availability and promotion of tobacco products, capacity building of community partners, cessation programs, Health Retail SF, and others. The diverse nature of the Coalition assures that the interests and needs of all the many different communities in San Francisco are considered and expressed before actions are taken.
The Tobacco-Free Coalition has successfully participated in the passing of several tobacco control ordinances in San Francisco. This has positioned San Francisco as a leader in tobacco control, international trade and environmental issues, and as a major metropolitan city with political influence. Some of the major policies that have been adopted as a result of the Coalition’s hard work include:
- The banning of tobacco vending machines
- Prohibition of tobacco and alcohol advertising on city property
- Creation of smoke-free worksites and restaurants
- Requirement of a tobacco retailers permit
- Banning of smoking in common areas of multi-unit housing complexes and requiring the disclosure of where smoking is allowed by landlords
- Prohibition of tobacco products to be sold at pharmacies
- Smoke-free parks, outdoor events, and farmer’s markets
- Addressing the proliferation of e-cigarettes with regulations on their use
- Raising the minimum age of purchasing tobacco products from 18 to 21
The Tobacco-Free Coalition has also taken its efforts beyond its borders in order to address the global pandemic caused by the tobacco industry. For more information on the Coalition’s Global Efforts.
For a more in depth look at the historical Actions of the Coalition and its partners.
Meet our Co-Chairs & Vice-Chair
Bob Gordon, Co-Chair
Bob Gordon, MPH, serves as Project Director for the California LGBT Tobacco Education Partnership. As Co-Chair of the San Francisco Tobacco Free Coalition, Bob helped organize San Francisco’s Menthol and Flavored Tobacco ordinance and San Francisco’s Tobacco 21 ordinance and previously was key to the passage of the first tobacco-free pharmacy ordinance in the United States. Bob has been honored with a number of awards for his work, including the 2013 Community-Based Leadership Award from the Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drugs Section of the American Public Health Association and the 2013 Community Activist Award from the American Legacy Foundation.
Christine Chessen, Co-Chair
Christine Chessen is a mom of three and recent empty nester drawn to fight against new tobacco products and the growing epidemic of nicotine addiction among young people that had declined in previous decades. She advocated SF supervisors and City officials to reign in JUUL and helped launch the 2019 “No On Prop C” campaign to protect the city-approved suspension on non-FDA approved e-cigs. As a stay-at-home mom for 20 years, Christine focused on the health and well-being of her family, studied and worked as a Nutrition Consultant and volunteered at her kids’ schools. Prior to having a family, she worked in management and software consulting. Christine has a B.S. in Applied Math from UCLA, an MBA from Columbia University, and is a Certified Nutrition Consultant from Bauman College. Originally from Fresno, CA, she currently resides with her husband in San Francisco.
Calyn Kelley, Vice-Chair
Calyn Kelley is a native San Franciscan and graduate of the University of San Francisco’s Urban and Public Affairs Master’s Program. His family roots are within both Potrero Hill and Bayview Hunter’s Point. As the father of a 5-year-old son, Calyn feels that it is imperative to adequately prepare those youth who are considered most vulnerable to social risks factors such as adolescent tobacco abuse. Calyn believes that part of the preparation starts with diagnosing community health risks and then disseminating that information to those parents, community members, CBO’s and youth advocacy agencies that can develop and impact existing and future policy.
Along with his vice chair position with the San Francisco Tobacco Free Coalition, Calyn works as the Program Director for Bay Area Community Resources’ Youth Policy Leaders program. The program focuses on policy development that raises awareness around issues of ‘minimum pricing’ and ‘tobacco discount prohibition’.
Interested in becoming a member of the San Francisco Tobacco-Free Coalition?
- Coalition Member Organizations: