Tobacco Prevention Program

The Kern County Tobacco Prevention Program is dedicated to improving the health of residents by reducing the use of tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, and reducing the exposure to secondhand and third-hand smoke through encouraging the implementation of measures that will support this. We aim to promote tobacco-free living through education, outreach, access to cessation services, and the promotion of tobacco-free practices.

Want to learn more about the Tobacco Prevention Program in Kern County?

To request more information, contact

Program Goals

  1. Educate about tobacco control issues and policies that eliminate or reduce secondhand and third-hand smoke in multi-unit housing, the availability of menthol and other flavored tobacco products, and the accessibility to tobacco products near youth sensitive areas.
  2. Support youth engagement of middle and high school students in tobacco-control related activities.
  3. Support community engagement through the Tobacco Free Coalition of Kern County by providing education, training and technical assistance.

Flavored Tobacco

Californians stood together and said no to Big Tobacco’s favorite tactic of using flavored tobacco to addict people to nicotine. No more kid-friendly flavors like Banana Ice, strawberry, and mint masking the harsh taste of tobacco. No more deadly targeting of Black communities with menthol cigarettes. No more flavored chemicals damaging our lungs. California retailers are now prohibited from selling most flavored tobacco products, including vapes and menthol cigarettes. And now is the perfect time for those who vape or use menthol cigarettes to quit.  It's great news, because limiting access to tobacco products means kids are less likely to start vaping - or get addicted. Anyone looking to quit using tobacco products can visit to get free quitting help. Kern County local tobacco retailers must follow the law to avoid fines and save lives.

483 High School students (grades 10 and 12) in Kern County are smoking cigarettes. 3513 High School students (grades 10 and 12) in Kern County used vapes in the past 30 days. 4968 High School students (grades 10 and 12) in Kern County used any tobacco products in the past 30 days. Source: 2019-2020 California Student Tobacco Survey


Secondhand & Thirdhand Smoke

Secondhand Smoke

  • Secondhand smoke is a mixture of 2 forms of smoke that come from burning tobacco.
    1. From the burning end of a cigarette, cigar, or pipe
    2. Smoke exhaled by a smoker or someone vaping
  • Tobacco smoke has more than 7,000 chemicals and over 70 of them are known to cause cancer.
  • Some chemicals found in tobacco smoke:
    • Formaldehyde: Used in embalming fluid
    • Ammonia: Used in household cleaners
    • Benzene: Found in rubber cement
    • Vinyl Chloride: Used to make pipe and tennis shoes
    • Arsenic: Used in rat poison
  • Exposure to secondhand smoke can lead to serious health problems including lung cancer, heart disease, and stroke and can make asthma worse in adults and children.
  • Many multi-unit housing residents are still exposed to drifting second-hand smoke.

Learn more about Secondhand Smoke

Thirdhand Smoke

  • Third-hand smoke is the layer of chemicals left behind from tobacco smoke that can stick to and remain on any surface after smoking stops such as furniture, carpets, and even your hair and clothes.
  • Research has found that third-hand smoke can remain on surfaces for 10+ years. Third-hand smoke changes over time and becomes progressively more toxic.
  • Infants and children may ingest the chemicals in third-hand smoke when they put toys or household objects in their mouth, and when they crawl or play on the floor.
  • Long-term exposure to pollutants in third-hand smoke has been shown to damage human cells and DNA.
  • There is no risk-free level of secondhand and third-hand smoke exposure; even brief exposure can be harmful to health.

Learn more about Thirdhand Smoke


  • TFK logo - Tobacco Free Coalition of Kern CountyThe Tobacco Free Coalition of Kern County is a partnership between Kern County agencies, organizations, and community members dedicated to the development and implementation of effective tobacco control efforts in Kern County. Focus areas include promoting public education and supporting public policies that will eliminate or reduce the use of tobacco products. The coalition aims to maintain diversity through the inclusion of members of various cities and priority populations of Kern County so that their interests and needs are well represented.
  • The Tobacco-Free Coalition of Kern County has been successful in assisting and motivating the communities of Kern County to pass several tobacco control ordinances that protect youth and families. Some of the major policies include:
    • Tobacco Retail License in most areas throughout the county. To see Kern County's local state of tobacco grades, click here.
    • Smoke-free outdoor parks/areas in Arvin, Tehachapi, and South East Kern Parks
    • Smoke-free healthcare facilities in Arvin, Bakersfield and Shafter. For more information about smoke-free healthcare campuses, click here.
  • Statewide changes in laws that effect Kern County include:
    • Raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21 years old
    • The inclusion of electronic cigarettes in the definition of tobacco products
    • FDA requires each cigarette package and advertisement to bear one of the new required health warnings
  • The Tobacco Free Coalition of Kern County meets the 3rd Wednesday bi-monthly from 12:00pm to 1:30pm. Find out more about what the coalition is doing by following us on Facebook and Instagram at and
  • If you are a concerned community member who would like to join the coalition and take action in your community, contact Alejandra Quezada at 661-321-3000 or send an email to
  • swat logo - Kern County Students Working Against TobaccoStudents Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) is a youth-led coalition working to educate their peers and the community on the dangers of tobacco use, exposure to secondhand and third-hand smoke, and the tobacco industry’s influence on the youth population.
  • The mission of SWAT is to educate the community on various public health issues that both teens and adults face as well as provide a helping hand to those in need. Our members are students who, given this opportunity, have chosen to take initiative and become advocates for others just like them by using their voice and status as leaders, to make a change.
  • Recruitment for SWAT is primarily conducted through middle and high schools and its members range from 8th grade to 12th grade students. Activities and meetings take place after school hours and at off-campus and community settings.
  • If you are a student and would like to take action in tobacco control within your community, get more information here.

Free Quit Services

Local cessation resource available for Kern County residents


CDC Quitline Telephone Numbers

  • 1-800-QUIT-NOW
  • 1-855-DÉJELO-YA (Español)
  • 1-800-838-8917 (中文)
  • 1-800-556-5564 (한국어)
  • 1-800-778-8440 (Tiếng Việt)

National Helpline

  1. Fact Sheets on Smoking and Tobacco Use. (2021, December 9). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.