Tobacco Control Resource Program (TCRP) Smoking Laws
For more information phone 619-692-5514 or send us an email.
Several state and local laws protect the public from exposure to secondhand smoke. This website includes information about several of them. For a more detailed description of state laws, visit Smoke Free San Diego.
Since 1988, the California State Workplace Smoking Law (Labor Code Sec. 6404.5) banned smoking in all public working places. The code states, "No employee shall knowingly engage in the smoking of tobacco products in an enclosed space at a place of employment."
All 18 incorporated cities in San Diego County have adopted local ordinances as well. All unincorporated areas follow the County of San Diego smoking ordinances.
NEW: Changes to Tobacco-Related Regulations for Unincorporated San Diego County
On January 28, 2020, the County of San Diego Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance which will apply to the unincorporated area of San Diego County. The ordinance restrictions will be in place on July 1, 2020, and include the following:
- The sale or distribution of flavored smoking products is prohibited.
- The sale or distribution of electronic smoking devices is prohibited until February 28, 2021, or an earlier date, dependent on the results of the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) ongoing vaping illness investigation.
- 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.
For more information, contact us at 619-542-4178, or by email.
Stay tuned for new resources and links that will be available soon on our website, including:
- Online form to file complaints regarding ordinance violations
- Free printable resources for your business or restaurant
Smoking laws and ordinances provide a healthy environment for everyone. Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, causing more than 400,000 deaths each year.
Secondhand smoke (environmental tobacco smoke) causes some 53,000
deaths in nonsmoking persons in the United States each year. Even if
you don't smoke, your health can be harmed by someone smoking around
To make a complaint about smoking in the workplace, please contact the agency listed below in the jurisdiction where the violation occurred:
|Carlsbad||Police Department |
|Chula Vista||Chula Vista Code
|Coronado||Coronado Police Department |
|Del Mar||Code Enforcement |
|El Cajon||El Cajon City Manager’s Office |
|Encinitas||San Diego Sheriff’s Department Dispatch |
|Escondido||Escondido Police Department |
|Imperial Beach||Code Enforcement |
|La Mesa||Code Enforcement |
|Lemon Grove||San Diego Sheriff’s Department Dispatch |
|National City||Code Enforcement |
|Oceanside||Oceanside Police Department |
|Poway||San Diego Sheriff’s Department Dispatch |
|San Diego (City)||San Diego Police Department
|San Diego (County)||San Diego Sheriff’s Department
|San Marcos||San Diego Sheriff’s Dept |
San Marcos Station Admin
|Santee||San Diego Sheriff’s Department Dispatch |
|Solana Beach||San Diego Sheriff’s Department
|Vista||San Diego Sheriff’s Department Dispatch |
Tobacco Product Litter
Cigarette butts are the most littered items both in the United States and in the world. They are flicked into the streets from cars, found on beaches, parks and sidewalks, and then end up in drains which flow to streams, rivers, bays, lagoons and ultimately end up in the ocean. Electronic cigarettes also produce litter and hazardous and toxic waste produced by discarded devices, batteries, and pods.
- What is the State Law regarding smoking in front of public buildings?
The State Law prohibits smoking within
20 feet of main entrances, exits, and operable windows of any building
owned, leased and occupied by the state, county or city and buildings
of the University of California (UC), California State University
(CSU), and California community colleges.
- Does the State Law (no smoking in front of public buildings) also apply to private businesses/ office buildings/stores, etc?
Although the State Law does not apply
to private businesses, management companies that own and/or manage
private businesses have the right to institute policies that prohibit
smoking at their facilities. They can also determine the distance at
which smoking is banned from entryways, windows and ventilation
- Are there laws that prohibit people from smoking inside apartments and condos?
Currently, no laws in San Diego County prohibit smoking inside apartments and condominium complexes. However, many apartments and multi-unit complexes already have or are now putting a voluntary policy in place which prohibits smoking on balconies and patios that are attached to the living units, as well as inside the apartments. Landlords and property owners should know that smoke-free policies are not discriminatory therefore they can institute their own policies. They can require that the entire complex be smoke-free, or can designate certain sections of the complex to be smoke free.
The City of El Cajon is leading the way
and is currently the only jurisdiction in San Diego County that
restricts smoking in common areas (inside and outside) of multi-unit
- Is smoking banned in all Parks and Beaches?
Smoking is not permitted on San Diego
County Beaches. All parks, including state parks, are also now
- What is Tobacco Retail Licensing?
A local Tobacco Retail Licensing (TRL)
Ordinance requires all merchants who sell tobacco to purchase a new
license. The license is in addition to the existing State of
California tobacco retail license that is required in order to sell
tobacco in the State of California. The cities in San Diego County
that have a TRL ordinance are: Chula Vista, El Cajon, Lemon Grove, San
Diego, San Marcos, Solana Beach, and Vista. The fees collected from
the license are mainly used for enforcing the laws that forbid the
sale and distribution of tobacco products to minors.
- What San Diego County College Campuses have Smoke-Free Policies?
Colleges with a smoke-free campus
policy include: MiraCosta College, Palomar College, Point Loma
Nazarene College, San Diego City College, San Diego Mesa College, San
Diego State University, and Southwestern College.
- Is smoking on outdoor dining patios prohibited in San Diego County?
Smoking on outdoor dining patios at restaurants is prohibited in the uincorporated area of San Diego County. The cities of Carlsbad, Chula Vista, Coronado, Del Mar, El Cajon, Encinitas, Imperial Beach, La Mesa, National City, Oceanside, and Solana Beach also prohibit smoking on outdoor dining patios. Restaurant owners in other areas of the county can make their own voluntary policy to prohibit smoking in the outdoor dining area of their eating establishment.
For more information phone 619-692-5514 or send us an email.
Webpage last updated 3/13/2020.