Laws and regulations that apply within California

California Legislators have the power to enact new or amend existing laws. The laws described below are most common tobacco control laws in California. All state tobacco control laws are enforced by the local law enforcement agency where the violation occurred. View Reporting Violations for more information.

For a more detailed listing of state laws visit the Public Health Law Center’s California Commercial Tobacco Control page.


As of December 21, 2022, the state of California now prohibits the sale of most flavored tobacco products. Any retailer, their agents or employees will be fined $250 for each violation of the state law. Local jurisdictions are responsible for enforcing the law. Jurisdictions that have adopted ordinances prohibiting the sale of flavored tobacco products may assess higher penalties. See the SB 793 Factsheet for more information.


Effective in 1988, the California Labor Code Section 6404.5, “prohibit(s) the smoking of tobacco products in all enclosed places of employment.  No employer shall knowingly or intentionally permit, and no person shall engage in, the smoking of tobacco products in an enclosed space at a place of employment. “Enclosed space” includes lobbies, lounges, waiting areas, elevators, stairwells, and restrooms that are a structural part of the building”. There are very limited exceptions to the California Labor Code Section 6404.5.

In San Diego County this law is enforced by the local law enforcement jurisdiction the violation occurred. See the Reporting Violations for more information.

Entryways -Government Buildings

California Government Code Section 7596-7598 prohibits smoking in an outdoor area within 20 feet of a main exit, entrance, or operable window of a public building. This applies to any building owned and occupied, or leased and occupied by the state, a county, city or California community college district.

Private Vehicles

The Marco Firebaugh Memorial Children’s Health and Safety Act of 2007 bans smoking in cars when there are children younger than 18 present. Those caught violating the law will face up to a $100 fine.

Tot Lots and Playgrounds

Smoking of tobacco products is prohibited within 25 feet of playgrounds or tot lot sandbox areas. The disposal of tobacco-related waste, such as cigar and cigarette butts, in these areas is also prohibited. A playground is defined as a park or recreational area specifically designed for use by children that has play equipment installed. This includes public or private school grounds, city, county of state park grounds. This law does not apply to private property or public sidewalks. California Health and Safety Code Section 104495

Day Care Facilities

California law prohibits smoking on the premises of a licensed day care center and in a licensed family day care home (i.e. a day care center for children based in the home of the provider).  This law applies during the hours of operation as a family day care home and in those areas of a the family day care home where children are present. California Health and Safety Code Section 1596.795

Local Laws

Local governments can also enact laws to regulate the use and sale of tobacco products. There are many laws in San Diego County that restrict smoking within various communities. Depending on the jurisdiction that you are in, different laws may apply. Visit Local Laws for more information.


Companies or organizations can also create policies that regulate the use and sale of tobacco products on their property. Check out Voluntary Policies for more information.