Residents and visitors of the unincorporated area of San Diego County, which include communities such as Julian, Ramona, Palomar Mountain, Borrego Springs, and Cuyamaca, can now breathe easier, due to the adoption of a new tobacco-related ordinance in January 2020 by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.

The new ordinance became effective July 1, 2020, and addresses the youth vaping epidemic and protects the public from secondhand smoke exposure in the unincorporated area of the county. The ordinance prohibits the sale or distribution of flavored smoking products, temporarily prohibits the sale or distribution of electronic smoking devices, and prohibits smoking in outdoor dining areas. 

Smoking today is more harmful than ever. According to recent studies, smoking doubles your risk of developing respiratory infections, including COVID-19, and getting sicker from it.

As outdoor dining expands amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, residents and visitors can enjoy outdoor dining in clean, healthy air, without being exposed to toxic secondhand smoke and e-cigarette aerosol. Restaurant workers will also be protected while working.

With this ordinance, the County joins at least 77 other California cities and counties with flavored tobacco bans, at least 19 other cities and counties with e-cigarette bans, and the 11 other cities in San Diego County with smoke-free outdoor dining ordinances. Additionally, the Board is expected to consider a Tobacco Retail Licensing ordinance for the unincorporated area of San Diego County in fall 2020.

For resources and to learn more about local smoke-free policies, visit

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