Attorney General Becerra Announces Recipients of Prop 56 Grants to Reduce Illegal Sales of Tobacco

Thursday, December 6, 2018
Contact: (916) 210-6000,

Sixty-five local government agencies receive grants to support efforts to combat the illegal sale of tobacco to minors

SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today announced the recipients of the California Department of Justice’s Fiscal Year 2018-2019 Proposition 56 Tobacco Grant Program. The grant recipients are 56 local government agencies located throughout the state, and grant funds will support programs to reduce illegal tobacco sales, particularly to minors. Funded activities include retailer training programs, decoy operations, youth outreach and prevention programs, tobacco retail license inspections, training for sworn peace officers, and the installation of vapor and smoke detectors, and more.

“Education and prevention programs are critical to fostering healthy communities that promote wellness and prosperity,” said Attorney General Becerra. “It is imperative that we continue to curb illegal youth tobacco sales, and these grants will aid our local communities in their preventative efforts.”

“The City of Garden Grove is honored and thankful in assisting the Attorney General’s Office in the mission of the Tobacco Tax Act of 2016,” said Pete Roque, Code Enforcement Supervisor of the Community and Economic Development Department, City of Garden Grove. “The City of Garden Grove looks forward to assisting in reducing tobacco use for minors.”

"We look forward to using the grant for education and enforcement to help stem the rising usage of tobacco products within our community's youth," said Rory Lakind, Pacific Grove Police Department Commander.

“The City of Piedmont would like to communicate its deep appreciation to the State of California, Department of Justice for once again exhibiting its priority to partner with local jurisdictions for the betterment of our communities,” said Jeremy Bowers, Piedmont Police Department Police Chief. “The award of this grant provides a new opportunity for the Piedmont Police Department to partner with the Piedmont Unified School District and work in new ways to keep our local campuses healthy and safe.”   

“The Riverside Police Department is grateful for this awarded grant,” said Jeff Greer, Riverside Police Department Deputy Chief. “It will help us continue our enforcement of the laws and regulations in place, but to also educate and deter our youth from dangers of tobacco products.”

“This award will give our agency an opportunity to provide essential services that otherwise would not have been possible,” said Turu VanderWiel, Sonora Police Department Chief. “I look forward to continued collaboration and partnerships with area stakeholders as we implement strategies to reduce the exposure of tobacco and tobacco products to our local youth.”

“This is a dynamic partnership between educational communities, health agencies, and law enforcement,” said Lisette Estrella-Henderson, Solano County Superintendent of Schools. “Funding from the grant will provide additional services to support our County Office of Education’s ongoing efforts, through a unique youth engagement strategy, to combat the illegal sales and marketing of tobacco products to students. We are grateful to the Attorney General’s Office for the funding and thrilled to be a part of this statewide endeavor that brings us one step closer to a healthier community.”

“We are grateful to the California Department of Justice for making this funding available to schools,” said Jim Hogeboom, Novato Unified School District’s Superintendent. “This funding will allow our district to have a greater focus on tobacco prevention and to support our students and schools.”

“Santa Rosa City Schools has seen increased trauma in our community after the 2017 wildfires, which can often lead to substance use,” said Steve Mizera, Assistant Superintendent of Santa Rosa City Schools Student and Family Services. “We are grateful for this grant and the opportunity to increase the education, intervention, and prevention of tobacco use – and especially vaping – among our students.”

The grants announced today supplement the $37.5 million in tobacco enforcement grants awarded earlier this year to 71 local law enforcement agencies. The 2017-2018 fiscal year grant recipients have already undertaken steps to reduce illegal sales of tobacco to youth. The Attorney General's Office has received reports from several agencies on the progress of their grant-funded activities. This includes public education programs for their communities, decoy operations and investigations into adults purchasing tobacco for minors.

The Department of Justice’s Tobacco Grant Program is funded by Proposition 56, the California Healthcare, Research and Prevention Tobacco Tax Act of 2016. Proposition 56 raised the cigarette tax by $2.00 per pack, with an equivalent increase on other tobacco products. It allocates $30 million annually to the Department of Justice for the Tobacco Grant program for distribution to local law enforcement agencies for the support and hiring of peace officers for various activities. These activities include investigations and compliance checks to reduce the illegal sale of tobacco products to minors.

For a complete list of the 2018-2019 recipients, please see here.

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