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Escondido Becomes First North Inland City to Make Outdoor Dining Areas, Sidewalks, and Public Events Smoke-Free

Escondido City Council takes major steps to protect residents, visitors, and restaurant workers with a unanimous vote to prohibit smoking in public places.

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October 13, 2020
San Diego Tobacco Control Resource Program

Outdoor dining has become part of a new normal brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Through special permits created by the City of Escondido to allow for outdoor business activities, many restaurants have opted to operate outdoors. 

It is important, now more than ever, to ensure that customers and employees are able to dine and work in healthy air. Recent studies have shown that smoking doubles your risk of developing respiratory infections, including COVID-19, and getting sicker from it.

In March 2020, the Escondido City Council voted unanimously to move forward with an ordinance prohibiting smoking and vaping in outdoor dining areas, public places including sidewalks, and public events.

“Congratulations to Escondido for becoming the first North Inland city to take these vital steps to protect residents, visitors, and restaurant workers from toxic secondhand smoke, “ said Lisa Archibald, Tobacco Control Program Manager for Vista Community Clinic. “Escondido is the first in North Inland but will not be the last. We are also working with community members from San Marcos to enact similar protections.”

During the council meeting, Cecilia Arias reported that staff from Vista Community Clinic visited all 140 Escondido restaurants with outdoor dining areas and found that only 78 were voluntarily smoke-free. She stated, “As a resident of Escondido, I would like to feel protected from secondhand smoke when I dine out.”


Congratulations to Escondido City Council—and the residents who can now breathe a little easier. 

To learn more about local smoke-free policies, visit

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