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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.

Since 1988, the California State Workplace Smoking Law (Labor Code Sec. 6404.5) bans 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 healthful 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 smoking in the workplace complaint please contact the agency listed below in the jurisdiction where the violation occurred: 

Carlsbad Code Enforcement
Chula Vista Chula Vista Code Enforcement
Coronado Police Department
Del MarCode Enforcement
El CajonEl Cajon City Manager’s Office
EncinitasSan Diego Sheriff’s Department Dispatch
Escondido Police Department
Imperial BeachCode Enforcement
La MesaCode Enforcement
Lemon GroveSan Diego Sheriff’s Department Dispatch
National CityCode Enforcement
OceansideOceanside Police Department
PowaySan Diego Sheriff’s Department Dispatch
San Diego (City)San Diego Police Department Dispatch
San Diego (County)San Diego Sheriff’s Department Dispatch
San MarcosSan Diego Sheriff’s Dept
San Marcos Station Admin
SanteeSan Diego Sheriff’s Department Dispatch
Solana BeachSan Diego Sheriff’s Department Dispatch
VistaSan Diego Sheriff’s Department Dispatch

 Cigarette Butts

Cigarette butts are the most littered items both in the United States and in the world. Cigarette butts are flickered 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.

To report cigarette butt flickers:

  • Call the hotline number at 1 (877) 211- BUTT

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?

No, the State Law does not apply to private businesses. Management companies that own and/or manage private businesses have the right to institute stronger policies that prohibit smoking both inside and outside of 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?

There are currently no laws in San Diego County that 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.

Is smoking banned in all Parks and Beaches?

Smoking is not permitted on San Diego County Beaches. Smoking in parks is only allowed in the cities of Escondido, Santee, and Vista. All other cities and the unincorporated areas of San Diego County are smoke-free.

What is Tobacco Retail Licensing?

A Tobacco Retail Licensing Ordinance requires all merchants who sell tobacco to purchase a new license. The license is in addition to the existing State of California tobacco retailing license that is required in order to sell tobacco. The cities in San Diego County that have a TRL ordinance are:  El Cajon, San Diego, 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 Campues have Smoke-Free Policies?

The Grossmont/ Cuyamaca College District has a smoke-free campus policy; therefore smoking is not allowed at Grossmont College and Cuyamaca College. Other smoke free campuses include Mesa College in San Diego, Palomar College in San Marcos, CA, and Point Loma Nazarene College in San Diego.

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

The cities of Chula Vista, El Cajon, Encinitas, and National City do not allow smoking on outdoor dining patios at restaurants.  Restaurant owners in other areas of the county, can make their own voluntary policy that prohibits smoking in the outdoor dining area of their eating establishment.

 For more information phone 619-692-5514 or send us an email.