Find out if your establishment is outside of the Tobacco Retail Buffer Zone.
Please type in the address of your business to determine whether it lies within the 600-foot buffer zone.
Berkeley Tobacco Retail Buffer Zone
The Berkeley Tobacco Retail Buffer Zone ordinance is intended to protect the health of the community–in particular the youth–by decreasing the likelihood that youth will consume products that are being marketed to them by the tobacco companies.
The Berkeley City Council adopted in 2015 Ordinance No. 7,441-N.S., which:
- Establishes a 600-foot buffer around K-12 schools in Berkeley as defined in Resolution No. 67,259-N.S.;
- Prohibits the issuance of new tobacco retail licenses within the buffer zone; and
- Effective January 1, 2017, prohibits the sale of flavored (including menthol) and electronic tobacco products within the buffer zone.
Violation of the conditions placed on a license may result in suspension of a license for a minimum of 30 days. Repeated violations may result in longer suspensions and license revocation. Additionally, violation of Chapter 9.80 of the Berkeley Municipal Code is a public nuisance and a misdemeanor, and may also be subject to administrative citation or civil action. Read more about the Amendment to Berkeley’s Tobacco Retailers License.
The City built over a year lead time when it passed the ordinance in 2015 for retailers to sell their inventory of flavored products, Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (e-cigarettes, e-hookahs, vape pens, etc.), and E-Juice.
The City has also clarified the definitions of “little cigars,” “cigars,” and “cigarillos” when it pertains to BMC enforcement. The Tobacco Fact Sheet also provides federal definitions of this category.
A tobacco retailer’s license is nontransferable and is valid only for the person and location of license issued. A new owner of a business located within the buffer zone would not be eligible to obtain a tobacco retail license for that location. For existing license holders, non-flavored conventional tobacco products—such as cigarettes—are allowed to be sold within the 600-foot buffer zone.
The buffer zone only applies to public and private schools, grades K-12 with enrollment of at least 25 students. It does not apply to colleges or universities.
If you have any additional questions about tobacco prevention, please contact the Tobacco Prevention Program:
City of Berkeley Public Health Division
Tobacco Prevention Program
1947 Center Street, 2nd Floor
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 981-5330 (Phone)
(510) 981-5395 (Fax)
Monday - Friday: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.