San Diego County Votes to Protect Kids from Tobacco by Holding Retailers Accountable with Licensing Fees

Tobacco retailers will be required to pay a licensing fee to the county that will fund enforcement of the county’s programs

May 24, 2022

San Diego, Calif. – San Diego County voted today for a budget that supports the county’s tobacco retailer licensing ordinance passed in early 2020. This budget provides for strong enforcement including annual monitoring, fines, license suspension and revocation for non-compliant retailers.

The budget plan assures that retailers pay licensing fees that will fund adequate enforcement of the county’s tobacco retail policy. Strong enforcement helps protect youth from illegal tobacco sales.

The following is a statement from Lynda Barbour, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) Southern California government relations director:

“The San Diego County Board of Supervisors have already enacted one of the strongest tobacco retail licensing programs in Southern California. Today’s action ensures that the program can be sustainably and equitably enforced and holds bad actors accountable for illegally selling tobacco to youth, protecting them from a potential lifetime of tobacco addiction.

“Tobacco retailers are more common in limited-income communities and communities of color, which already face a disparate burden in tobacco-related diseases, including cancer. Fully funding this program through fees paid by retailers is a best practice that will provide sustainable support for the critical monitoring and enforcement that is needed to help reduce tobacco use and address health disparities.”

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