Smokefree Santa Clara

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On February 5, 2019, Santa Clara City Council adopted a Smoking and Tobacco Regulations Ordinance that expanded smoking restrictions in many public areas and multi-unit residences. These regulations aim to protect Santa Clara residents, employees and visitors from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke.   

New smoking restricted areas in Santa Clara include:

  • Open air dining areas
  • Public parks
  • Service areas, such as ATMs and transit stops
  • Public places when being used for a public event
  • Within 30 feet of any operable doorway, window opening, and vent into any enclosed or unenclosed areas in which smoking is prohibited
  • Multi-unit residences *Effective August 1, 2019

What does "smoking" include?

For the purposes of the law, smoking includes:

  • Cigarettes, cigars, or pipes
  • Electronic and/or battery operated cigarette or vaporize devices
  • Cannabis/Marijuana

Multi-unit Residences

Santa Clara’s Smoking and Tobacco Regulations Ordinance include requirements for multi-unit residences. Multi-unit residences includes all properties with two or more units, including apartments, condominiums, and townhomes. Effective August 1, 2019, smoking will be prohibited inside multi-unit residences, which includes the following:

  • Any new or existing unit of a multi-unit residence, including areas such as a private balcony, porch, deck or patio
  • Any common areas of a multi-unit residence
  • Within 30 feet of any operable doorway, window, opening, or vent of a multi-unit residence

The law does not apply to single-family homes, single-family homes with a detached or attached in-law or second unit, or hotels or motels satisfying the requirements of State and local law.

Landlord, Operators, Property Managers’ Obligations

Landlords, operators, property managers and officers of homeowners’ associations for multi-unit residential properties, whether rental or owner-occupied, will be required to:

  • Post “No-Smoking” signage in every building, as well as on the entrances, or other places where smoking is prohibited. The minimum allowable size for signs is six inches by four inches.
  • Include the following items in every lease or other rental agreement for the occupancy of a new or existing unit in a multi-unit residence entered into, renewed, or continued month-to-month after the effective date of the Ordinance:
    • A true and correct copy of the full text of the Chapter 8.35 (“Smoking and Tobacco Regulations”) of the Santa Clara Municipal Code
    • A description of and/or image depicting the location(s) of any designated smoking area(s) on the property, if any
    • A clause conveying third-party beneficiary status to all occupants of residences or residence units within 30 feet, as to the smoking provisions of the lease or other rental agreement, such that an aggrieved third party beneficiary may institute a private civil action against violator(s) to enforce Chapter 8.35 (“Smoking and Tobacco Regulations”) of the Santa Clara Municipal Code
  • Provide notice to residents or tenants or their guests of the requirements of the Smoking and Tobacco Regulations Ordinance
  • Give written notice to violator(s) that the violator(s) actions are in violation of the Smoking and Tobacco Regulations Ordinance    

Anyone with legal control over a common area, or their authorized representative, may designate a portion of the common area as a designated smoking area as long as they meet the requirements contained in the Ordinance. 

The City will work with landlords and property managers to implement Ordinance’s requirements for smokefree multi-unit residences by the August 1, 2019 deadline through educational outreach materials and landlord/property owner workshops. Workshops will held on the following days:

Wednesday, June 12, 2019, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. & 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Margie Edinger Meeting Room, Central Park Library, 2635 Homestead Road, Santa Clara, CA

Tuesday, June 25, 2019, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Community Room, Northside Branch Library, 695 Moreland Way, Santa Clara, CA

Wednesday, July 10, 2019, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. & 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Margie Edinger Meeting Room, Central Park Library, 2635 Homestead Road, Santa Clara, CA

Where is smoking permitted?

  • In outdoor areas that are farther than 30 feet from a place where smoking is prohibited
  • In a private residence (unless it is in multi-family housing or when being used as a child care facility or health care facility)
  • In smoking-designated hotel or motel guest rooms
  • In tobacco shops (retail or wholesale)
  • Vehicles, as permitted by applicable laws

No Smoking Signs

The City has a limited amount of free "No Smoking" signs and window decals available for multi-unit residence property owners, managers and residents. To reserve your signage, please email When ordering signs from the City of Santa Clara, please provide the following information:

  • Type of signage (9" x 12" aluminum sign, 4" x 6" window decal, or both), along with the quantity per request. Please note that the limit is two 9" x 12" aluminum signs and five 4" x 6" window decals per multi-unit property.
  • Name, property address, phone number and email so we may follow up as necessary.

The City has also made "No Smoking" signage templates available under the Relevant Documents and Information section below.

Relevant Documents and Information

Smoking and Tobacco Regulations Ordinance No. 1996

Copy of Smoking and Tobacco Regulations for Leases

FAQs for Public Areas

FAQs for Multi-Unit Residences

4"x6" Smokefree Property Sign Template

9"x12" Smokefree Property Sign Template

12"X18" Smokefree Property Sign Template

4"x6" No Smoking Within 30 Feet Sign Template

9"x12" No Smoking Within 30 Feet Sign Template

12"x18" No Smoking Within 30 Feet Sign Template

For questions, please contact the City Manager’s Office at (408) 615-2210.


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