Secondhand Smoke Ordinance

Tobacco Retail License and Flavored Tobacco Ban

The City is currently discussing a draft ordinance that would ban the sale of flavored tobacco in Alameda and create a tobacco retail license for all tobacco retailers in Alameda. 


Download the draft ordinance here.

Take an online survey to share your feedback 

Please email Sarah Henry at for more information.


Secondhand Smoke Ordiance 

On November 15, 2011, the Alameda City Council unanimously passed a secondhand smoke ordinance, which prohibits smoking in public outdoor areas and multi-unit housing. More than 30 community members attended both meetings to discuss the ordinance. A copy of the final ordinance, staff reports, and summary of provisions are below.


Smoking Ordinance (Final)

2nd Reading of Ordinance and Staff Report

1st Reading of Ordinance and Staff Report


The following is a summary of provisions contained in the ordinance.  Beginning on January 2, 2012, smoking will be prohibited in the following places of employment:

  • Hotel/motel lobbies, meeting and banquet facilities
  • Ninety percent (90%) or more of hotel/motel guest rooms
  • Retail and wholesale tobacco shops, and hookah bars
  • Taxi cabs, cabs of trucks, tractors, or other vehicles used for work
  • Warehouse facilities
  • Theatrical production sites
  • Medical research sites
  • Private residences licensed as child care, adult care, and health care facilities
  • Small businesses with fewer than five employees
  • Owner-operated businesses open to the public
  • Outdoor worksites, including construction sites, arenas, and convention halls, or anywhere where working crews may be

Beginning on January 2, 2012, smoking is prohibited in the following outdoor public places:

  • Commercial-area sidewalks: defined as public sidewalks in downtown shopping and business areas designated with a “C” prefix on the City’s official Zoning Map.
  • Dining areas: defined as outdoor seating at restaurants, bars, coffee houses, etc. The rear patio areas of bars and taverns, awaiting further study.
  • Public events: defined as farmers’ markets, fairs, concerts, etc.
  • Recreation areas: defined as parks, trails, sports fields, beaches, etc.
  • Service areas: defined as bus stops, ticket lines, ATM lines, taxi stands, etc.
  • Shopping malls: defined as public walkway or hall areas that connect retail or professional establishments
  • Entryways (reasonable distance): defined as within 20 feet of doors, windows, and other openings into enclosed areas, not otherwise prohibited by law.

Business owner/manager/operator responsibilities:

  • Clearly and conspicuously post "No Smoking" signs within or adjacent to unenclosed dining areas.
  • Remove all ashtrays or other receptacles for disposing of smoking material from any area where smoking is prohibited.
  • Not knowingly allow smoking in smoking prohibited areas.

In all multi-unit housing (defined as two or more units, including condominiums, planned developments, and stock cooperatives), smoking is prohibited as follows:


Effective January 2, 2012:

  • Smoking is prohibited in all common areas, except for designated smoking areas meeting the requirements of AMC 24-12.5(b).
  • Smoking is prohibited inside existing units that are newly leased.
  • Smoking is prohibited in all newly built units.

Effective January 1, 2013:

  • Smoking is prohibited in all multi-unit housing.

Note: There is no smoking within 20 feet from any doorway, window, opening, or vent into an enclosed area in which smoking is prohibited, except while activiely passing on the way to another destination (AMC 24-12.4)

Landlord/homeowners’ association responsibilities:

  • Clearly and conspicuously post "No Smoking" signs in common areas, at entrance, and on floors where smoking is prohibited.
  • Remove ashtrays or other receptacles for disposing of smoking material from any area where smoking is prohibited.
  • Not knowingly allow smoking in prohibited areas.
  • Disclose to prospective tenants and buyers the requirements of the Secondhand Smoke Ordinance.  The Smoking Ordinance Disclosure meets this requirement.
  • Maintain a diagram that illustrates designated outdoor smoking areas, if applicable.

Required lease terms:

Beginning January 13, 2013, every lease or other agreement for the occupancy of a unit in a multi-unit rental complex shall include the following:

  • A clause stating that smoking is prohibited in the non-smoking unit.
  • A clause stating that it’s a material breach of the lease to violate any law regulating smoking while on the premises.
  • The above-noted diagram.

2017 amendments with updated definitions for smoking:

In 2017, to align with new state regulations, Alameda added the smoking and vaping (the use of electronic smoking devices) of either tobacco or cannabis to the secondhand smoke law adopted in 2011. Under state law, the smoking and vaping of cannabis is prohibited in all public places and wherever smoking tobacco is not allowed. For more information about state cannabis laws, go to the state’s website

Section 24-11

Section 24-12


Additional Resources: