TCRP Smoking Laws
Federal, state, county, and local laws reduce youth access to tobacco and unwanted exposure to secondhand smoke through smoke-free and tobacco sales policies.
All 18 incorporated cities in San Diego County have adopted local ordinances. All unincorporated areas follow the County of San Diego smoking ordinances.
For information on federal, state, and local tobacco laws and regulations; local law enforcement agencies in San Diego County; and frequently asked questions, see additional links at the bottom of the page.
California's SB 793 Law Now Prohibits the Sale of Most Flavored Tobacco Products
When did the law go into effect?
The law went into effect on December 21, 2022.
Which flavored tobacco products cannot be sold in California?
• Flavored electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) that deliver a flavored e-liquid
• Flavored e-liquids, even if they contain tobacco-free nicotine or do not contain any nicotine
• Vape pens with flavored cannabidiol (CBD), aromatherapy, or essential oils
• Menthol cigarettes
• Flavored non-premium cigars, little cigars, and cigarillos
• Flavored smokeless tobacco
• Flavored blunt wraps and flavored hemp wraps
• Flavored loose-leaf, roll-your-own tobacco
• Flavor enhancers, such as e-liquid flavor enhancers or flavored cigarette papers.
Can retailers sell flavored tobacco products that are already in their stores after the state law goes into effect?
No. There is no sell-down period.
Are there penalties for selling flavored tobacco products?
Yes. Any retailer, their agents or employees will be fined $250 for each violation of the state law. Local jurisdictions are responsible for enforcing the law. Jurisdictions that have adopted ordinances prohibiting the sale of flavored tobacco products may assess higher penalties.
Are there any exemptions?
Yes. State law exempts loose-leaf pipe tobacco, premium cigars with a wholesale price of $12 or more, and shisha (hookah tobacco) when sold by a licensed store that only allows people 21 or older on the premises. Some local jurisdictions do not exempt these products.
What about local jurisdictions?
Chula Vista, San Diego, and the County of San Diego regulate flavored tobacco products in the same way the state does, but retailers in those jurisdictions may be subject to higher fines and penalties. Retailers located in the cities below must comply with additional restrictions on the sale of flavored tobacco products:
• Encinitas exempts shisha, but state law now limits the sale of shisha to licensed, adult-only facilities.
• Imperial Beach prohibits the sale of all flavored tobacco products, no exemptions.
• Solana Beach prohibits the sale of all flavored tobacco products, no exemptions.
How can retailers safely dispose of e-cigarettes?
E-cigarettes are hazardous waste and must be disposed of as follows:
Where can we find additional information or ask specific questions?
The California Department of Public Health has posted information on SB 793 here:
Please visit the Tobacco Retail Licensing program’s website at:
tobacco_sales_regulations.html,email us at TRLApplications.HHSA@sdcounty.ca.gov, or leave a message at 833-THE-TRLP (833-843-8757).
Tobacco Ordinances: Unincorporated Area of San Diego County
On January 28, 2020, the County of San Diego Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance (Ordinance No. 10647) to reduce the impacts of tobacco in the unincorporated area of San Diego County. Effective July 1, 2020:
- Smoking is prohibited in all outdoor dining areas, and within 25 feet from the perimeter of such areas. Additionally, smoking is prohibited within 40 feet from a permitted food facility that is a mobile food or temporary food facility, such as a food truck or food cart.
On December 8, 2020, the County of San Diego Board of Supervisors adopted an ordinance (Ordinance No. 10699) creating a Tobacco Retail Licensing Program in the unincorporated area of San Diego County. Effective July 1, 2021:
The County of San Diego will begin receiving and processing TRL applications on June 1, 2021.
Click below to learn more about what the ordinance means for tobacco retailers and dining establishments in the unincorporated area of the county.
Tobacco control laws and regulations protect the health of the public and promote smoke-free environments. Laws are typically enforced by the local law enforcement agency in the jurisdiction where the violation occurred. See links below for information about federal, state, and local laws.
Webpage last updated 2/8/2023.