Smoking in Public Places

County Ordinance

Jefferson County Public Health enforces local ordinance pertaining to where people can smoke.

Report a violation by calling 360-385-9444 or completing attached form and returning to JCPH

Board of Health Ordinance Restricts Smoking & Vaping in Public Places

Smoking and vaping is a community health concern. The Jefferson County Public Health department makes it a priority to protect and improve the health of all county residents - including access to clean air.

“Smoking and vape-free policies are one of the most effective tools for protecting the health of a community,” said Vicki Kirkpatrick, Jefferson County Public Health Director. “Not only do they protect non-smokers and non-vapers from secondhand exposure, such policies can also be effective in reducing access and use by youth.”

In 2019, the Jefferson County Board of Health is repealing the Clean Indoor Air Regulation and replacing withSmoking and Vaping in Public Places, Places of Employment, and Outdoor Places where Children Congregate."  The Ordinance falls under Chapter 8.60. of the Jefferson County Health Code, prohibiting the use of tobacco and vapor products in indoor public places and places of employment, as well as within 25 feet of doorways and air intakes. The Ordinance also prohibits the use of tobacco and vapor products in outdoor public places where children congregate; including, but not limited to: playgrounds, parks, beaches, athletic field, and stadiums.

This new Ordinance and Code resulted from growing concerns in Jefferson County about increased youth usage of these products, a statewide increase of nicotine poisonings, and general support for clean air in public places. The intent of this Ordinance is to reduce access and exposure to smoking and vaping for children and youth, as well as promote a healthier environment for all residents.

 The replacement ordinance can be found online at: Smoking and Vaping in Public Places, Places of Employment, and Outdoor Places where Children Congregate
To assist with signage requirements relating to the code, a limited supply of the sign will be available, as well as downloadable signs that can be used; the sign can be affixed to door entrances or at a visible location near the entrance, as well as appropriate interior spaces. 

Questions about enforcement of the code can be directed to the Public Health Environmental Health Division at (360) 385-9400.  Questions about the Ordinance or code can be directed to Karen Obermeyer at (360) 385-9400.

Related documents:

      1. Ordinance draft
      2. Summary of Changes Proposed Jefferson County Smoking and Vaping in Public Places Ordinance
      3. Notice of Public Hearing
      4. Staff Briefing Report
      5. Health Concerns Summary
      6. Vapor Product Law Overview
      7. DOH Vapor Health Impacts March 2019
      8. SEPA Determination of Non-significance

      1. E-Cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults. A Report of the Surgeon General. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Office on Smoking and Health, 2016.
      2. WA DOH's webpage on Vapor Products Health Effects


        History - Initiative 901

       On December 8, 2005 Washington State implemented a comprehensive statewide law prohibiting smoking in all public places and workplaces. View Initiative Measure 901 (PDF).

      Smoking in public places, Washington state RCW 70.160: 

      Since 2005 RCW 70.16 has protected employees, visitors, patrons and others from second hand smoke by prohibiting smoking in public places and workplaces and requires that smoking occur a minimum reasonable distance of 25 feet from entrances, exits, windows and air intakes to insure that smoke does not enter into buildings.

      Owners and persons in charge are responsible for ensuring no employees, clients or patrons are smoking indoors or within 25 feet of any door, exit, window that opens or ventilation intake. Owners must also post “No Smoking Signs” on all entrances to the business. 

      Information for businesses:


      Report a Clean Air Violation

      To report a violation of Jefferson County Clean Indoor Air Regulation Number 2006-04-0216-06 call 360-385-9444 or complete attached form and return to JCPH. 

      Department located at:

      Jefferson County Environmental Public Health
       615 Sheridan Street
      Port Townsend, WA 98368
      Monday - Thursday, 9 to 4:30pm

      Violation of This Law

      A violation of the law includes:

      • Smoking or evidence of smoking inside a public space or workplace, including the presence of smoke, cigarette ashes or cigarette butts.
      • Lack of "No Smoking" signs that are clearly visible at each entrance.
      • No action taken to prevent smoking within 25 feet of entrances, exits, windows that open and ventilation intakes.

      901 Variance Application

      To request a variance regarding prohibition of smoking within 25 feet of entrances, exits, windows that open, and ventilation intakes, download the Variance Request Application Form (PDF), print and submit to Jefferson County Public Health.

      Note: The application for reduction of the 25-foot requirement applies only to the area addressed in the application and not to the entire structure or any other area near or around the facility.