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Tobacco use remains the number one preventable cause of death and disease in California, causing nearly 40,000 deaths in California every year. In Santa Clara County, one in eight deaths annually is attributed to smoking-related illness or diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, and respiratory diseases. More than one in ten youth in the County currently use tobacco products, including electronic smoking devices.

The Santa Clara County Public Health Department has provided funding to cities, including Cupertino, to support tobacco prevention strategies known to have the highest impact on reducing tobacco-related disparities and inequities. In November 2019, and in February 2020, the City adopted an ordinance to prohibit the sale of flavored tobacco and e-cigarette/vaping products in Cupertino, along with other requirements described in the ordinance. Click here to view the agenda, meeting materials, and adopted ordinance. 

Adopted Policies

On November 19, 2019 and February 18, 2020, the City Council approved an ordinance that prohibits the sale of flavored tobacco and e-cigarette/vaping products, along with other requirements. This ordinance also requires retailers in the City of Cupertino to obtain a local permit to sell tobacco products. The main provisions of the ordinance are listed below.

Starting July 1, 2020:

All tobacco retailers are:

  • Required to obtain and annually renew a tobacco retailer permit.
    • The Santa Clara County Department of Environmental Health will be administering the permit and will send a letter and an application to the state-licensed tobacco retailers in Cupertino. The County’s Public Health Department is available for general inquiries at (408) 793-2700. 
  • Prohibited from selling flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes.
  • Prohibited from selling electronic cigarette/vaping products.
  • Required to check ID for those appearing under age 30.
  • Required to have a minimum age for individuals selling tobacco products that is the same as the minimum age to purchase tobacco products as established by state law, which is currently 21.
  • Prohibited from covering more than 15% of windows and clear doors with any type of ads or signs.
  • Prohibited from mobile tobacco retailing or tobacco retailing at a temporary event. 
  • Subject to a 60 month period in which a retailers violations would accumulate.
  • Required to post a notice saying that the sale of tobacco products to anyone under 21 years of age is illegal and subject to penalties.

New tobacco retailers are:

  • Prohibited from opening within 1,000 ft. from any K-12 school in Cupertino
  • Prohibited from opening within 500 ft. from an existing tobacco retailer

Pharmacies are:

  • Prohibited from selling all tobacco products

This approved ordinance is an important and successful step towards reducing youth access to tobacco in Cupertino. The regulations around schools will benefit students and keep them from developing habits and behaviors that are harmful to their health. The ordinance will be reflected in Municipal Code Chapter 5.50.