Shouldn’t the Best Seat in the House be Smoke-Free

Creating smoke-free environments on restaurant patios provides non-smokers with access to these highly desirable seating areas. To accommodate the 89 percent of Californians who do not smoke, and prefer to dine outdoors, cities and counties are exploring smoke-free dining patios ordinances.

Smoke-Free Dining Patio Laws in San Diego County

Restaurant managers or owners can also set voluntary smoke-free policies for their dining patios. If a city does not have a law, the restaurant may have their own policy. See Dining Patio Policies for more information.

How You Can Help

San Diego has the best climate in the Country with bright, sunny, clear skies a majority of the year. While dining on a patio your meal should NOT come with a side of secondhand smoke.

Join community members throughout San Diego who are speaking out.

  • Follow the Take Action steps to let your government representative know you support smoke-free dining patios. Find your local representative here. Ask your friends, family, co-workers, church groups or club to join you.
  • Tell the restaurant manager you prefer smoke-free outdoor dining the next time you dine out.
  • Join the SmokeFreeSanDiego Team
  • Like us on Facebook to see what is going on in San Diego

Vista Community Clinic is working with the City of Vista on a smoke-free outdoor dining policy. Contact them at (760)-631-5000 x 1001 or at to get involved.

Resources for Policy Makers

A study published in Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine revealed that youth living in towns with a strong restaurant smoking regulation had significantly lower odds of starting to smoke, compared to youth living in towns with weak regulations. Local Restaurant Smoking Regulations and the Adolescent Smoking Initiation Process: Results of a Multilevel Contextual Analysis Among Massachusetts Youth

There is strong public support from people who smoke and those who do not smoke, for smoke-free outdoor dining patios policies. See various public opinion polls.

Stanford Study, 2007  – Study confirms the risk of exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke at sidewalk cafes and other outdoor settings.

American Cancer Society, 2011 – UW Carbone Cancer Center, economic data supports that smoke-free policies are good for health and good for business. 

California Tobacco Facts and Figures 2016

ChangeLab Solutions has resources

Examples from the City of Chula Vista