San Diego County Tobacco Retailers to Start Paying License Fee that will Fund Enforcement of Tobacco Regulations

The new fees aim to protect youth from illegal tobacco sales, curb youth tobacco use

July 11, 2022

San Diego, Calif. – Starting this week, on July 14, tobacco retailers in San Diego County will start paying a licensing fee that will fund and ensure strong enforcement of the tobacco retail license ordinance that took effect in July 2021.

The measure requires annual permits, as well as annual monitoring, and sets penalties such as fines, license suspension and revocation for non-compliant retailers.

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. The new license fee ensures that the program can be sustainably and equitably enforced. It also 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, instead of San Diego taxpayers, 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.”