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Comprehensive Smoke Pollution Protection Ordinance
At the August 19, 2014 meeting, the El Cerrito City Council approved the first reading of the Smoking Pollution Protection Ordinance. This ordinance requires a second reading, which will be during the regular Council meeting on October 7, 2014.

The proposed Smoking Pollution Protection ordinance requires 100% smoke free public places, commercial areas, and multi-unit residences within the City of
El Cerrito.

The City Council supports the regulation of smoking because of the known risks to the public health through smoking and secondhand smoke, the environmental risks of cigarette butt litter to local waterways, the need for trash reduction, the financial effects of smoking both economically and as demonstrated in increased healthcare costs, and the threat to public safety by posing a fire danger.

City staff spent about a year gathering feedback from the
El Cerrito community including making presentations at meetings, conducting an online survey and hosting two workshops in addition to the City Council study session. The vast majority of respondents and participants in the various public meetings felt that regulation of smoking is necessary to protect the public’s health and well being.

The Smoking Pollution Protection ordinance includes provisions for prohibiting smoking all forms of tobacco, marijuana, and any other weed or plant, including vaporizing via electronic smoking devices in public places, commercial areas, and multi-unit residences.

If adopted in October, staff will develop resources to help employers and landlords, such as:
  • FAQ sheet
  • downloadable "no-smoking" signs

 The City will also provide links on its website to smoking cessation resources, and other information and resources that will be helpful to the public.

Contact Staff
If you have any questions about the smoke pollution protection regulations, please contact Karen Pinkos, Assistant City Manager. 

Proposed Tobacco Retailers License
A separate ordinance that will address regulating tobacco sales and licensing tobacco retailers will be presented to the Planning Commission within the next few months. For more information on the proposed tobacco retailers license, please contact Suzanne Iarla, Community Outreach Specialist at 510-215-4318.

Download the August 19, 2014 Staff Report
Download the proposed ordinance

100% Smoke Free Parks, Open Space, and
Public Places

Proposed to become effective January 1, 2015:
  • Parks, playgrounds, and sports fields
  • Recreation Areas
  • Open Space
  • Trails
  • All City-owned facilities, property, grounds, and parking lots
  • Public sidewalks, both commercial and residential
  • City and other public events, including farmers’ markets, festivals, food events, recreation events, or any event attended by the general public
  • Plus a 25’ buffer around all designated non-smoking areas (include the list above, plus schools and other areas covered by State or Federal law.

100% Smoke Free Commercial Areas
Proposed to become effective January 1, 2015: 

  • Places of employment: public, private, and nonprofit of more than one employee
  • Shopping Centers
  • Outdoor dining areas
  • Sidewalks
  • Service areas, including bus stops and other outdoor locations where people
    congregate (ATM lines, taxi stands, etc.)
  • All existing units
  • All new units to be built
  • All indoor and outdoor spaces on the property including common areas, patios,
    balconies, garages, carports, and shared spaces such as laundry and eating areas
  • Includes Hotels/Motels

100% Smoke Free Multi-unit Housing and Common Areas

  • All existing units
  • All new units to be built
  • All indoor and outdoor spaces on the property including common areas, patios,
    balconies, garages, carports, and shared spaces such as laundry and eating areas
  • Includes Hotels/Motels

As proposed, landlords of multi-unit housing will be required to include smoking prohibitions in new leases effective January 1, 2015. For existing leases of rental units, provisions must be implemented by October 1, 2015 or at the time of lease renewal, whichever is sooner.
As proposed, all multi-unit housing provisions must be met by October 1, 2015.

Background on the process
In early 2013, during the discussion on strategies for fulfilling the Strategic Plan goal of Ensuring the Public’s Health and Safety, both the City Council and members of the public identified “Explore innovative and best practices for promoting public health”, specifically referencing the regulation of secondhand smoke, as an objective for the City.

Community Outreach:

Presentation to the Park and Recreation Commission July 2013 and Environmental Quality Committee August 2013 
Online Survey (launched late November 2013)

Presentation at Community Workshop on February 27, 2014

Postcard send to businesses, landlord and apartment residents about upcoming meetings

Presentation at City Council study session on May 20, 2014

Presentation at Community Workshop on June 5, 2014

Resources to Help You Quit Smoking
Visit the Contra Costa County Tobacco Prevention Project's Cessation Resources webpage to learn about resources available to help you or a loved one quit smoking. 

Other Resources:
Contra Costa County Tobacco Prevention Project
Smoking Cessation Leadership Center at UCSF
more to come!