Emeryville, California, becomes the 50th community to require all multi-unit housing to be 100% smokefree.

On September 17, the Emeryville City Council voted 5-0 on the final reading of an ordinance that will bring 100% smokefree air to all multi-unit housing in the city starting July 1, 2019. Significantly, the vast majority of residences in Emeryville are multi-unit properties, so the new law will have a wide reach in this San Francisco Bay Area community.

Since Emeryville took action, Half Moon Bay and Santa Clara, California, have also adopted ordinances for 100% smokefree multi-unit housing. These communities represent the growing trend in California for cities and counties to take local action to create healthier and safer living environments that allow residents to breathe easier at home.

Emeryville, Half Moon Bay, and Santa Clara’s successes built upon several years of hard work, including community and policymaker education by the County Tobacco Control Programs, resident outreach and engagement, planning and dedication by city staff, and advocacy by local residents and tobacco control partners. A big congratulations goes out to everyone who was involved in these campaigns and will continue to stay engaged to help the implementation process go smoothly.

Tremendous progress in California is being achieved thanks to the ongoing work of local tobacco control coalitions, public health partners, and community members who are educating local elected officials and community members about the health hazards of secondhand smoke in multi-unit buildings and the need for cities and counties to take action to protect everyone’s right to breathe smokefree air at home.

Currently, all communities with 100% smokefree multi-unit housing laws are located in California, primarily in the Bay Area and Los Angeles area, but communities in other parts of the state are building capacity for policy activity, and we anticipate seeing communities in other states consider this policy direction in the future.

To learn more, visit our smokefree housing page.