Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the Fresh Air Ordinance?
    • The Fresh Air Ordinance is the Glendale City Council’s way of protecting the public health and safety by limiting unwanted exposure to secondhand smoke.
  2. Where can I smoke?
    • Smoking is allowed at private homes, in private cars, and on private golf courses, if their owners allow smoking there. Also, smoking is allowed on city streets and sidewalks, as long as it is at least 20 feet away from other areas open to the public. The following types of places MIGHT have smoking permitted areas:
      1. City owned property
      2. Outdoor dining areas at restaurants
      3. Apartment buildings
      4. Hotels and motels
      5. Shopping malls
      6. Auto dealers
      7. Tobacco shops
    • If there is a smoking permitted area, it will have a clearly marked perimeter, a "smoking permitted" sign, and at least one receptacle for smoking waste.
  3. Can I smoke in my own apartment?
    • Maybe. If your landlord has designated your apartment as a "Smoking Unit" then you may smoke there. The Fresh Air Ordinance requires landlords to designate each unit as "Non–Smoking" or "Smoking" and should disclose this designation for you. You should be able to ask for a floor plan from the landlord that shows where smoking is allowed and prohibited.
    • As of June 27, 2013, smoking is prohibited inside units of new multi-unit rental housing.
  4. As an apartment owner, how can I make my apartment building smoke free?
    • The easiest time for a landlord to establish a no–smoking policy is when a new lease is created, either when a new tenant moves in or when an expired lease is replaced. Once the landlord and the tenant sign the new agreement, the smoking restriction becomes a requirement like any other provision in the lease. 
    • Eventually, the entire building could become smoke–free using this method.
    • Landlords MAY create a Smoking Permitted Area with limitations. See the Smoking Permitted Area License page for additional information.
  5. Do I need to tell my landlord I’m a smoker?
    • No, you don’t have to. A smoker can rent any unit! However, you should know if your unit is designated as "Smoking" or "Non–Smoking". You must follow the terms of your lease or rental agreement. If the unit is "Non–Smoking," that DOES NOT prevent a smoker from renting the unit; instead, it prohibits smoking by anyone in the unit - whether tenants or guests.
  6. Are condominium complexes included in the ordinance?
    • Yes. Smoking is prohibited in common areas as well as on private balconies and patios of condominium complexes.
    • As of June 27, 2013, smoking is prohibited inside units of new condominium complexes.
  7. Are hookah lounges allowed in Glendale?
    • No. For zoning purposes, hookah lounge is not recognized as a land use by itself, but is associated with other uses such as: restaurants, coffee shops, bars, etc. Smoking is only allowed in licensed smoking designated areas of outdoor dining areas.
  8. How do I obtain a License for a Smoking Designated area?
    • A license for a Smoking Designated Area must be obtained through the Community Development Department. In addition to completing the Licensing Master Application (L-100), applicants must submit a site plan which demonstrates all of the requirements listed in chapters 5.98 and 8.52 of the Glendale Municipal Code are met. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that their proposed smoking permitted area meets all city requirements. Inspections will be conducted to compare the submitted site plan to the conditions at the location.
  9. Who may issue a citation?
    • A citation may be issued by a Code Compliance Inspector or an Officer of the Glendale Police Department.
  10. Is this legal?
    • Yes, this Fresh Air Ordinance is legal. The City Council has the authority by the California Constitution and the California Health and Safety Code to protect the public health and safety of the citizens it represents.
    • The chapter of our Municipal Code that pertains to smoking can be found here.
  11. Public Places and Spaces

    Smoking is prohibited in, on and within 20 feet from:

    • City property, including parks and golf courses.
    • City vehicles and public transportation vehicles.
    • City public transit stops and stations.
    • Places of employment.
    • Enclosed areas open to the public (whether privately owned or publicly owned).
    • Non-enclosed areas open to the public (whether privately owned or publicly owned).
    • Indoor and outdoor common areas of multi-unit rental housing.

    Other prohibited acts include: Aiding or abetting a person to smoke in an area where smoking is prohibited; disposal of smoking waste; reprisal; and smoking sign and notices removal.

    Smoking is allowed:

    • On a street or sidewalk, 20 feet or more from a smoking prohibited area.
    • In a private residence.
    • In a private vehicle.
    • On a private golf course.
    • In designated areas within some outdoor dining areas subject to distance requirements.
    • At shopping malls only in areas that have been designated for smoking with limitations.
    • In up to 20% of guest rooms in hotels / motels, unless expressly prohibited.
    • In some outdoor display lots at some auto dealerships with limitations.
    • In the smoker's lounge in a retail or wholesale tobacco store subject to limitations.
    • By an actor during a recorded "take" or during a final on stage performance (not rehearsal) when smoking is integral to the scene.

    Places of Employment

    Federal law or state law provides, no person shall smoke:

    1. In a place of employment.
    2. Within a twenty (20) foot distance from an entrance or exit, open window, or air intake vent to a place of employment.

    Retail or Wholesale Tobacco Store - Smoking Permitted Area

    Even though smoking is prohibited at a retail or wholesale tobacco store, an owner, manager, or person in charge of a retail or wholesale tobacco store may designate a portion of the premises as a smoking permitted area – known as a smoker’s lounge – when the smoking permitted area meets all of the requirements listed below. Licenses are required to designate such an area.

    A retail or wholesale tobacco store:

    1. Specifically designates an enclosed area with a physical barrier in, or attached to, its premises for smoking a tobacco product purchased on-site by one (1) or more of its customers;
    2. Complies with the ventilation requirements specified in California Labor Code Sections 6404.13)(A) and (B), or any successor legislation;
    3. Reserves:
      1. Twenty-five (25) percent or more of its interior floor space for displaying tobacco products and tobacco paraphernalia for sale; and
      2. Fifteen (15) percent or less of its interior floor space, or two hundred fifty (250) square feet or less of its interior floor space– whichever measurement is smaller– for the customer smoking permitted area; and
    4. Has a current and valid zoning use certificate or certificate of use and occupancy from the city.

    Apartment Buildings

    • Smoking is allowed inside apartment units unless the unit has been designated as a smoke-free unit by the property owner.
    • Smoking is prohibited in all common areas (hallways, corridors, pool decks, garages, etc) of apartment buildings.
    • Smoking is prohibited on private balconies and patios. Owners may designate entire properties to be smoke-free, both inside the units and in common areas. Such a designation requires notice to tenants as specified in individual agreements. Buildings designated as smoke-free by the property owner will be certified as a "Glendale Fresh Air Zone".
    • Property owners may (but are not required to) create a Smoking Permitted Area on an apartment property, as long as the area is located so that it complies with regulations. Licenses are required to designate such an area.
    • Resident smokers should always be considerate of non-smokers.

    Rental Disclosure

    Before signing a lease, landlords MUST disclose to the prospective tenant whether:

    • Smoking is permitted in the unit for rent; and whether the unit was designated as a smoking or non-smoking unit for the tenant last residing in it.

    A landlord MUST provide the prospective tenant with the following:
    • A floor plan that shows the position of smoking units and non-smoking units, relative to one another, in the complex; and
    • The location of all common areas of multi-unit rental housing where smoking is prohibited; and
    • The location of any smoking permitted area.

    A landlord MUST post a diagram disclosing of location of smoking units and areas.


    A tenant may be evicted under the Just Cause Eviction Ordinance for continuing to smoke after the landlord's verbal or written warning to stop smoking:

    • In a rental unit that the landlord had designated as a non-smoking unit; or
    • In an indoor or outdoor common area.


    Smoking is prohibited in the common areas as well as private balconies and patios of condominium complexes. Home Owners Associations may (but are not required to) create a Smoking Permitted Area on an apartment property, as long as the area is located so that it complies with regulations. Licenses are required to designate such an area.

    Hotel or Motel – Smoking Permitted Guest Room

    A hotel or motel may designate one (1) or more guest rooms as a smoking guest room, when the hotel or motel meets all the requirements listed below.

    The hotel or motel:

    1. Permanently designates eighty (80) percent or more of its guest rooms as non–smoking rooms,
    2. Conspicuously places one (1) or more:
      1. "No smoking" signs in the non–smoking rooms;
      2. "Smoking permitted" signs in the smoking rooms;
    3. Permanently removes smoker’s waste receptacles and matches from the non–smoking rooms;
    4. Segregates smoking rooms from non–smoking rooms on separate floors, wings, or portions of either, without interspersing smoking rooms and non–smoking rooms next to one another.

    Shopping Malls

    Smoking is prohibited at shopping malls. However, an owner or manager may designate small portions of certain non–enclosed common areas as smoking permitted areas, as long as the areas comply with regulations. Licenses are required to designate such areas.

    Outdoor Dining Areas

    Smoking is prohibited in most outdoor dining areas. However, an owner or manager may designate a portion of the outdoor premises as a smoking permitted area, as long as the areas comply with regulations. Licenses are required to designate such an area.

    Auto Dealerships – Smoking Permitted Areas

    An owner, manager or person in charge of an auto dealership may designate a portion of the premise’s outdoor display lot as a smoking permitted area, when the smoking permitted area meets all of the requirements listed below.

    A smoking permitted area:

    1. Must be located the greatest distance practicable but at least twenty (20) feet away from:
      1. An indoor showroom;
      2. An indoor or outdoor:
        1. Seating, waiting, or reception area
        2. Food or beverage area;
        3. Eating area;
        4. Vending machine area;
        5. Repair or service area;
        6. Parts or accessories area;
        7. Car rental or loan area;
        8. Cashier area;
        9. Car wash area;
        10. Restroom;
      3. An opening or an entrance or exit to an enclosed area;
      4. A service line at an area or a location listed (1)(a), (b), or (c) above;
    2. Must have a clearly marked perimeter;
    3. Must be identified by one (1) or more conspicuously posted signs;
    4. Must have at least one (1) smoker’s waste receptacle.
    5. Licenses are required to designate such an area.

    City Property

    Glendale is proud to introduce its new and improved Fresh Air Zones at City Facilities.

    What is a Fresh Air Zone?

    Fresh Air Zones are areas where smoking is prohibited.

    In City Facilities, these Fresh Air Zones extend any parking structures, parking lots, stairways, service lines, structures, courtyards, plazas, atriums, patios, landscaped areas, paths, walkways, corridors, access roads, seating, waiting or reception areas that are a part of a City Facility. Smoking is also prohibited in the street or sidewalk within 20 feet of any entrance to a City Facilities. Entrances are identified by these zone signs.

    What is a City Facility?

    City Facilities are properties owned, operated, maintained, managed or occupied by the City of Glendale including but not limited to:

    • Parks, Historic Sites & Park Facilities
    • Libraries
    • Fire Stations, offices & training facilities
    • Civic Center (link to map of civic center)
      • City Hall Building
      • Perkins Building
      • Municipal Services Building
      • Community Services Building
      • Howard Sub–Station Building
      • Facilities Services Trailer
      • General Services Building
      • Civic Center Parking Structure and other parking lots
      • Parcher Plaza
      • Perkins Plaza
      • Civic Center War Memorial
    • Civic Auditorium
    • Police Department Building
      • Heliport
      • Shooting range
      • Sub–station
    • Glendale Water & Power Dept.
      • Power plants, sub–stations, control house, utility operations center
      • Water distribution or treatment plant, sewage treatment plant, pump house, tank, or reservoir
    • Public Works Facilities
      • Corporate Yard
      • Environmental Management Center
      • Integrated Waste Management Facility
    • Scholl Canyon Landfill
    • Scholl Canyon Golf Course
    • Verdugo Jobs Center
    • Youth and Family Services Office
    • Public Transit stations or stops
    • Community Gardens

    Is Smoking Permitted at Any City Facilities?

    Yes, the City Manager has the authority to designate special "Smoking Permitted Zones". The following facilities have smoking permitted zones:

    • Civic Center (more details when available)
    • Maple Park (more details when available)

    Smoking Permitted Zones are identified with specific signs. More information to come.

    *Smoking Permitted Zones have been designated at one or more of these City Facilities.