Tobacco Retail Licensing Program Aiming to Protect Youth from Illegal Tobacco Sales, Curb Tobacco Use Takes Effect Today

June 21, 2024

Clovis, Calif. – June 21, 2024 – A tobacco retail licensing program takes effect today to hold tobacco retailers in Clovis accountable for following state and local laws, by facing strong penalties, including fines, license suspension and revocation, if they fail to do so.

“We commend Clovis for taking this critical step to create a healthier environment for everyone. The tobacco retail licensing program will help reduce tobacco use as well as the heavy burden of tobacco-related diseases, including diabetes, heart disease and cancer,” said Lynda Barbour, government relations director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) in Southern California. 

The illegal sale of tobacco products – including all flavored tobacco products – to youth is a significant concern that the new tobacco retail licensing program aims to address.

“Strong, continuous monitoring and enforcement are needed to stop Big Tobacco from marketing to kids and illegally selling highly addictive and deadly tobacco products,” added Barbour.

“Flavors are one of the main reasons why so many of my friends and peers started using tobacco products. Most people who use tobacco started as teenagers. This is no coincidence. The tobacco industry has been exploiting the fact that kids are more likely to become addicted to nicotine and have trouble quitting. I’m proud that Clovis is acting to protect our health,” said Stefania Sesock, Buchanan High School in Clovis graduating senior and ACS CAN volunteer.

The licensing fee paid by tobacco retailers in Clovis will cover the cost of administration and monitoring to ensure that the program is sustainably and equitably enforced.

“Strong tobacco policies can help people quit and prevent kids from ever starting. We hope other communities in Fresno County and beyond look at Clovis’s example and follow suit,” said Barbour.

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of disease and death in the U.S., and smoking is linked to at least 12 types of cancers, including lung, liver and colorectal cancers.

Free resources and services on quitting tobacco products are available at in English and Spanish. For help in Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean and Vietnamese, visit