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New E-Cigarette Restrictions Take Effect in Santa Barbara

The Santa Barbara Board of Supervisors approved July 21, 2015 amendments to County Code Chapter 37, Smoking, Tobacco Product and Electronic Smoking Device Control Ordinance, which includes e-cigarettes and vaping devices in all tobacco restrictions. 

The law now treats electronic smoking devices (ESD), such as e-cigarettes and vaporizers, just like conventional smoking and tobacco products.

One of the main changes will be an increase in the number of outdoor places where both smoking and tobacco/ESD use are restricted, including dining areas, public events and around county sites. All businesses that sell ESDs will be required to place the products and related paraphernalia behind the counter or out of customer reach.

“Everyone should be able to live, work and recreate in a smoke free environment. These amendments to our county’s Tobacco Control Ordinance move us in the right direction and help keep the public healthy and safe,” said Dr. Takashi Wada, Public Health Department director.

“I was pleased to cosponsor these amendments to the County’s tobacco control ordinance with our Public Health Department because I believe that the proliferation of 'ESDs' presents an increasing risk to the public, especially children. Other amendments to our ordinance strengthen protection of the public and employees from second-hand smoke,” said Second District Supervisor and Chair of the Board Janet Wolf.

Other elements of the new ordinance include smoking and vaping restrictions in common areas of multi-unit residences and specific requirements for shops that specialize in selling tobacco and ESD products and paraphernalia.

Currently, California State law does not regulate the use of ESDs at worksites or in public places. The unincorporated areas now join four cities within the County that already restrict ESD use in both indoor and outdoor settings.

The amendments to the ordinance will take effect on August 22, 2015.

A copy of the ordinance can be found here. For more information, please contact the Tobacco Prevention Settlement Program at 805.681.5407.

— Susan Klein Rothschild represents the Santa Barbara Public Health Department.

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