Multi-Unit Non-Smoking Policy


On June 15, 2021, the City Council adopted Ordinance Number 227.8 to prohibit smoking in multi-unit housing and certain outdoor areas. The City Council agenda report and attachments, which provide additional background and information regarding the project, can be accessed here.

Milpitas already prohibits smoking and vaping in parks, trails, and outdoor dining areas, but policies are needed to prohibit smoking in multi-unit housing and limit exposure to secondhand smoke and vaping in individual units, common areas entryways, and service areas in nonresidential developments, and at public events. Milpitas has adopted policies to address the increased demand for smoke-free housing to protect current and future residents from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke from both tobacco and cannabis products, which often disproportionately jeopardize the health of the most vulnerable populations.

Property owners, managers, and HOAs must inform tenants and residents of the law's smoke-free requirements and incorporate the requirements into leases and rental agreements. Signs must also be posted where smoking is prohibited. The City has a limited number of free "no smoking" signs available. If you would like to pick up a "no smoking" sign, please contact the Planning Department.


Frequent and recurring exposure to secondhand smoke can cause health problems such as asthma, heart disease, cancer and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, as well as worsen a chronic illness. Children, the elderly, and the disabled are especially vulnerable to exposure to secondhand smoke, yet they are the least able to avoid it.

The home is now the number one source of secondhand smoke exposure and 20% of Milpitas households live in multi-unit housing. Therefore, the most effective way to address secondhand smoke exposure is to implement citywide policies that restrict smoking in all multi-unit housing, including common areas, balconies, and patios. There are now over 50 jurisdictions in California that have adopted smoke-free housing policies, including unincorporated Santa Clara County, and the cities of Sunnyvale, Saratoga, Palo Alto and Los Gatos. For more information regarding the harmful effects of secondhand smoke and benefits of smoke-free policies, refer to this informational handout.

The City was selected to receive funding to implement comprehensive smoke-free policies for all multi-unit housing through Santa Clara County's Healthy Cities Program. In March 2020, the Milpitas City Council authorized City staff to conduct public outreach, develop policy options to prohibit smoking in multi-unit housing, and prepare an implementation plan for future consideration and adoption.