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.

Click here if you live in a city without a smoke-free outdoor dining policy and want to learn how you can help.

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.


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:

  • Tobacco retailers must apply for and receive an annual County of San Diego Tobacco Retail License (TRL) to sell tobacco products.
  • Tobacco retailers should comply with all operating and tobacco product requirements of the Tobacco Retail Licensing Program.

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.


Dining Establishments
Tobacco Retailers

Additional Resources 

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.

State and federal tobacco laws affecting California

Local tobacco control laws and regulations

Local law enforcement agencies by jurisdiction

Frequently asked questions about tobacco regulations



Webpage last updated 5/18/2021.