San Rafael, CA Enacts Strict Anti-Smoking Legislation (Update)


The city of San Rafael, CA is making it tough for its residents and visitors to enjoy a smoke of any kind thanks to strict new legislation that was passed on Monday.

The ordinance passed Monday night gives the city the toughest anti-smoking stance in Marin County, which is located just north of San Francisco. Under the new ordinance, smoking is now prohibited in all apartment buildings and condominiums, parks, bus stops, restaurant patios and a number of other outdoor spaces. According to a report from the Marin Independent Journal, there is also a special set of restrictions for the downtown area, banning smoking on sidewalks and plazas except when smokers are “actively passing on the way to another destination.


There are exemptions for tobacco shops that are not attached to other structures, single-family houses, vehicles, and up to 20% of hotel rooms. The ordinance also provides for some flexibility when it comes to providing smoking areas at public events and in apartment and condo complexes, though those areas would have to be at least 20 feet from areas where smoking is banned and at least 100 feet from children’s area or recreational spaces such as playgrounds and swimming pools.

Mayor Gary Phillips and the four members of the San Rafael City Council all voted for the ordinance.

Update (Nov. 21, 2013) — This provision in this ordinance that affects multi-family dwellings went into effect on November 14, 2013. It makes it illegal to smoke in a home if that structure shares a wall with another dwelling. It applies to both owners and renters and covers apartments, condominiums, co-ops and any multi-family residences with three or more units.

Patrick Lagreid
About the author

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.

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