Where (Not) to Smoke in Thousand Oaks, Calabasas and Moorpark

Most of you have heard about last week's Moorpark City Council vote last week to prohibit smoking in most public places.  The new law, which becomes effective in August, is summarized below along with other state and local bans.  There are no federal smoking bans, though roughly 70% of the country has some type of workplace smoking ban (inversely, 30% of the U.S. population can still smoke at work).

State of California

Smoking in enclosed workplaces and within 20 feet thereof has been banned in California since January 1995.  The law also applies to restaurants and bars.  The law has certain exceptions, such as workplaces with up to 5 employees (assuming no minors and all employees consent), up to 65% of hotel rooms, etc.  Since 1/1/08, smoking in a car with a minor has been illegal in California.  Since 1/1/02, it has been illegal to smoke within 25 feet of a public playground (unless you are smoking on a public sidewalk within 25 feet of the playground, in which case it is perfectly legal).

City of Calabasas

The City of Calabasas smoking ban has been in place since 3/16/06 and outlaws pretty much all public places, both inside and outside...streets, sidewalks, parks, restaurants, stores, you name it. You are allowed to smoke in your home and in designated smoking areas.  You are also allowed to smoke in any outdoor area in which no non-smoker is within reasonable distance and due to the time of day you wouldn't reasonably expect another person to arrive.  This means if you are smoking in your car with the window open and someone is behind you, you're breaking the law.  Calabasas recently amended the law to require 80% of rental apartments be permanently designated as non-smoking by 1/1/12.  If you are a smoker, Calabasas is probably not the best city for you to live in.

City of Thousand Oaks

The Thousand Oaks City Council adopted a smoking ordinance that became effective on 8/8/08. It prohibits smoking within 25 feet of playgrounds, at public gardens, outdoor service areas, outdoor dining areas (limited exceptions), common areas at shopping centers and grounds of public libraries. The Thousand Oaks law has more leeway for smokers than the Calabasas law.

City of Moorpark

The Moorpark law bans smoking in any parks, athletic fields (including spectator areas), playgrounds, trails, public spaces, outdoor service areas, indoor/outdoor places within shopping centers (including parking lots and parking structures), public events, dining areas, anywhere food is being prepared, sidewalks, trails, bikeways and city-owned parking lots/structures.  Smoking is allowed in private residences, retail tobacco stores with appropriate ventilation, up to 20% of hotel rooms and other designated areas.

Confused? Just watch your sniffs, bans and puffs.