The City of San Francisco has laws in place to mitigate cigarette litter, and a laundry list of places where smoking is prohibited.
Unfortunately these laws are largely unenforced.
What can you do?
- Tell your District Supervisor it’s not OK. We’re already working with Districts 1 and 4 to reduce cigarette litter, and are conducting outreach to the rest.
- Report cigarette litter hotspots to 311. Install their app or go online. The City uses this information to identify sources of public concern. The more piles of toxic cigarette butts we can share, the more likely we are to see some changes.
Cigarette Butt Litter and Mitigation Laws
- Littering cigarette butts in California is illegal (CA Penal Code 374) and punishable by a fine of no less than $250 for a first offense (374.4)
- All places of employment in San Francisco must have a cigarette litter receptacle or be fined no less than $80 for a first offense (San Francisco DPW Code 5.1 sec 173)
- Smoke-free Playgrounds and Tot Lots: CA Health and Safety Code, Sec 104495 (2002). This State Law prohibits the smoking of tobacco products within 25 feet of a playground or tot lot sandbox area. It also prohibits the disposal of tobacco-related waste (cigarette butts) in these areas.
- Smoke-free Public Transit Vehicles, Stations, and Stops: CA Health and Safety Code Sec 118925-118945 and SF Health Code Article 19F, Sec 1009.22 (2010). These ordinances ban smoking public transit vehicles or at public transit stops and shelters. For information call (628) 206-7668.
- Smoke-free Entrances: SF Health Code Article 19F, Sec 1009.22 (2010). Smoking permitted only at curb of commercial, multi unit residential and mixed use building entrances, exits, operable windows and vents. If there is no curb, no smoking within 15 feet of entrances, exits, operable windows and vents. California Government Code Sections 7596-7598 (2004). This State Law prohibits smoking within 20 feet of main entrances, exits and operable windows of city, county and state buildings. For more information call (628) 206-7668.
- Smoke-free Service Waiting Lines: SF Health Code Article 19F, Sec 1009.22 (2010). No smoking within designated areas where customers are required to wait to do business including at ATMs ticket lines, movie theater lines, athletic event lines, concert event lines, and at cab stands.
- Smoke-free Farmers Markets: SF Health Code Article 19F, Sec 1009.22 (2010). No smoking at all farmers markets.
- Smoke-free Public Golf Courses: SF Health Code Article 19I, Sec 1009.81 (2006). This ordinance bans smoking on public golf courses. For information call (415) 753-7015.
- Tobacco free Parks and Recreation Athletic Fields: SF Health Code Article 19I, Sec 1009.81 (2006). This ordinance bans smoking in unenclosed areas under the jurisdiction of the City, including parks, squares, gardens, sport or playing fields. Enforcement: Department of Recreation and Park Patrol (415) 753-7015.
- Smoke-free Piers, Wharfs, Dock, Bulkhead, or Marine Facility: SF Police Code Article 1, Sec 55 (1944). It shall be unlawful for any person to smoke, carry or possess a lighted cigar, cigarette, or pipe, or to smoke tobacco or any other similar substance