Bakersfield Takes Critical Step to Protect Kids from Tobacco by Holding Retailers Accountable

The new tobacco retail licensing program aims to protect youth from illegal tobacco sales, curb tobacco use

July 12, 2023

Bakersfield, Calif. –  Today, the Bakersfield City Council passed a comprehensive tobacco retail licensing program that will help hold Bakersfield retailers accountable for following state and local tobacco laws, including the statewide law that ended the sale of flavored tobacco products. The program will hold bad actors accountable with strong enforcement, including annual monitoring, fines, license suspension and revocation for non-compliant retailers.  

In 30 days, retailers will start applying for a license and paying licensing fees to fund adequate enforcement of the city’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: 

“We applaud the Bakersfield City Council for taking this critical step to stop Big Tobacco from lining their pockets at the expense of the health and lives of children. Today’s action ensures that local and state tobacco control laws can be sustainably and equitably enforced. It also protects Bakersfield kids from a potential lifetime of tobacco addiction by holding bad actors accountable for illegally selling tobacco to our youth.  

“Tobacco retailers are more common in limited-income communities and communities of color, which already face a disparate burden in tobacco-related diseases, such as diabetes, stroke, heart disease and cancer. Proximity to tobacco retailers is associated with higher smoking rates and can reduce the success of those trying to quit. The retail licensing program will provide sustainable support for the vital monitoring and enforcement needed to help reduce tobacco use and address health disparities.” 

More Press Releases AboutTobacco Regulation and Products, California

Media Contacts

Priscilla Cabral-Pérez
Regional Multicultural Media Advocacy Associate Director