Smoking Ordinance Update
print friendly textonly
feature head more features

Receive free emails on this subject:  e-mail

Smoking Ordinance Update

In 2014, the City Council undertook a comprehensive update of its Smoking Ordinance, which had been in place since 1994.  The City Council held a number of public meetings on this topic.

The update, which was undertaken in three phases, greatly reduces the number of places that smoking is allowed within the City limits and impacts City controlled spaces and events, commercial/retail spaces, apartment housing and condominiums and townhomes. 

Following is a summary of all of the changes from previous law: 

  • Include electronic cigarettes in the definition of smoking so that any laws that pertain to smoking also include electronic cigarettes (effective 9/3/2014) 
  • Prohibit smoking within 30 feet of all entrances / doorways of apartment buildings, condominiums and townhomes and within 50 feet of commercial and retail spaces except that smoking is allowed in up to 50% of outdoor seating of restaurants, even if located within 50 feet of the entrance (effective 9/3/2014) 
  • Prohibit smoking at all community-wide special events, including the Arts and Wine Festival, Fourth of July Celebration and Summer Concerts (effective 9/3/2014) 
  • Prohibit smoking in all areas that are on or adjacent to public property, including all City facilities and parks, sidewalks, pathways, pedways and parking lots (effective 9/3/2014) 
  • Prohibit smoking in City streets except within vehicles traveling on City streets (effective 9/3/2014) 
  • Prohibit smoking on all sidewalks in or adjacent to common interest developments, apartments, shopping centers and commercial properties with retail establishments (Smoking is allowed on sidewalks adjacent to single family homes on private streets.) (effective 9/3/2014) 
  • Prohibit smoking in all apartment units, including on balconies and patios, for which new leases are executed subsequent to the effective date of this ordinance (effective 11/5/2014) 
  • For apartment units with existing leases, prohibit smoking beginning in November 2015 (effective 11/5/2014) 
  • Prohibit smoking in all indoor and outdoor common areas of apartments, condominiums and townhomes except in specifically designated areas (effective 11/5/2014) 
  • Prohibit smoking in condominiums and townhomes with shared common walls, ventilation, floors or ceilings, their balconies and patios. (effective 12/17/2014) 

Fines outlined in the ordinance will be in force beginning January 1, 2015 for those entities that are not in compliance with the law.

The links below are intended to provide resource materials regarding the changes that were made to the ordinance.  General questions about the ordinance or the materials below can be addressed to Management Analyst 'Andra Lorenz at or 650-286-3215.  Questions about the signage requirements in the ordinance should be addressed to the Community Development Department at or 650-286-3225.  To report a violation in progress, call the Police Department at 650-286-3300.




Video and Reports from the Public Meetings on this Topic

City Hall - 610 Foster City Blvd.
Foster City, CA 94404
(650) 286-3200