SACRAMENTO – Local governments and agencies in California may now apply for the 2018 California Department of Justice Tobacco Grant program that aims to reduce the unlawful sale of tobacco products, especially to minors.
This year, $28.5 million dollars will be distributed to grant recipients, state Attorney General Xavier Becerra said Wednesday.
The deadline for localities to apply is October 5, 2018.
Additional information on application requirements and eligibility criteria is available here.
Examples of local entities that could apply for the grant funding include:
Cities, counties or local government agencies that apply for funding to:
* bring local businesses into compliance with current tobacco ordinances;
* support community and retailer outreach and education programs;
* create media awareness campaigns;
* inspect local tobacco retail licenses;
* install signs regarding tobacco-related regulations, e.g., “no smoking” signs in parks.
Public schools, college districts, and law enforcement agencies under contract with school districts that apply for funding to:
* hire, train, and support additional school resource officers (SRO) to focus on preventing tobacco use;
* install signs or air quality detection devices in school bathrooms and other areas to discourage vaping and smoking on school grounds.
City attorneys or county councils who apply for funding to:
* decrease adolescent access to tobacco products, for instance, through prosecuting cases involving contraband or unstamped tobacco products;
* investigate and take enforcement action against hookah lounges that are not in compliance;
* develop multilingual media outreach campaigns aimed at preventing underage tobacco use;
* investigate and prosecute the unlawful sales of tobacco products on the internet and marketing on social media.
Local law enforcement, including police departments, county sheriffs’ departments, and school police departments that apply for funding to:
* use decoy buyers posing as minors to test retailers suspected of selling tobacco to minors;
* increase resources to conduct tobacco-related enforcement operations targeting locations where minors are likely to be present, such as playgrounds, youth sports events, baseball stadiums, schools and college campuses, public transit systems, or vehicles with a child present;
* provide educational classes or diversion programs for tobacco retailers to help ensure that they understand state and local tobacco laws.
Approved by voters in 2016, Prop. 56 increased taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products by $2.00 starting in April 2017 and established a grant program for local governments, administered by the California Department of Justice.
In June 2018, Becerra announced the distribution of $37.5 million in statewide grants to 71 local entities throughout the state. The grants are being used to combat the illegal sale of tobacco and cigarette products to minors.
Grant applications for the next cycle of awards will be assessed for their potential to improve the enforcement of laws relating to the sale, marketing, and use of tobacco products.
Local governments and agencies that support programs to enforce state and local laws related to the illegal sale and marketing of tobacco products to minors, investigate those activities, or conduct compliance checks to reduce illegal sales of tobacco products to minors are encouraged to apply.
For more information about the grant application process or qualifications, please visit the Attorney General’s webpage.
Questions regarding the application process may be directed to the Attorney General’s office at firstname.lastname@example.org.