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Tobacco Control Resource Program (TCRP)

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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 Tobacco Laws Affecting California and 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.

Harmful Effects

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 you.

To make a complaint about smoking in the workplace, please contact the agency listed below in the jurisdiction where the violation occurred: 

Jurisdiction 

Contact 

Carlsbad Police Department
760-931-2197 
Chula Vista Chula Vista Code Enforcement
619-691-5280 
 Coronado
 
Coronado Police Department
619-522-7350 
Del MarCode Enforcement
858-755-9313
El CajonEl Cajon City Manager’s Office
619-441-1716
EncinitasSan Diego Sheriff’s Department Dispatch
858-565-5200
Escondido
 
Escondido Police Department
760-839-4721
Imperial BeachCode Enforcement
619-628-1359
La MesaCode Enforcement
619-667-1189
Lemon GroveSan Diego Sheriff’s Department Dispatch
858-565-5200
National CityCode Enforcement
619-336-4287
OceansideOceanside Police Department
760-435-4900
PowaySan Diego Sheriff’s Department Dispatch
858-565-5200
San Diego (City)San Diego Police Department Dispatch
619-531-2000
San Diego (County)San Diego Sheriff’s Department Dispatch
858-565-5200
San MarcosSan Diego Sheriff’s Dept
San Marcos Station Admin
760-510-5200
SanteeSan Diego Sheriff’s Department Dispatch
858-565-5200
Solana BeachSan Diego Sheriff’s Department Dispatch
858-565-5200
VistaSan Diego Sheriff’s Department Dispatch
858-565-5200

Cigarette Butts

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.  

Tobacco FAQ

  • 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 systems.

  • 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 housing complexes.

  • Is smoking banned in all Parks and Beaches?

Smoking is not permitted on San Diego County Beaches. All parks are now tobacco free, except in the city of Santee. All other cities and the unincorporated areas of San Diego County are smoke-free.

  • 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:  El Cajon, San Diego, 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.

  • What Cities in San Diego County prohibit smoking on outdoor dining patios at restaurants?

The cities of Chula Vista, Del Mar, El Cajon, Encinitas, National City and Solana Beach do not allow smoking on outdoor dining patios at restaurants.  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.