SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today announced that the California Department of Justice is now accepting proposals for the 2022-2023 Tobacco Grant Program. The program aims to reduce the illegal sale of tobacco products, particularly to minors, by providing $22 million in grant funding to eligible local agencies. Local public agencies are encouraged to apply if they provide programming aimed at enforcing state and local laws related to the illegal sale and marketing of tobacco products to minors.
“We have a responsibility to protect our children’s health and well-being,” said Attorney General Bonta. “We have seen tobacco companies and retailers flout regulatory oversight in an attempt to encourage addiction among minors. Local governments are one of our first lines of defense against the proliferation of tobacco consumption among children. The California Department of Justice’s Tobacco Grant Program gives these public agencies the funding they need to keep our children healthy and hold tobacco retailers accountable.”
Tobacco use is the number one preventable killer in the United States, resulting in more deaths than the number of people who die from alcohol, AIDS, car accidents, illegal drugs, murder, and suicides — combined. In California, over 400,000 children who are currently under the age of 18 will ultimately die prematurely from smoking. California law prohibits retailers from selling tobacco products to youth under the age of 21, with the exception of active duty military personnel who are at least 18 years of age. However, many retailers ignore California laws by selling their products to minors online, marketing flavored tobacco to children, and even making misleading claims about their products’ health impacts.
The Department of Justice’s Tobacco Grant Program is funded by Proposition 56, the California Healthcare, Research and Prevention Tobacco Tax Act of 2016. To date, the Tobacco Grant Program has distributed approximately $151 million in grant funding to approximately 330 grantees through a competitive process.
The Tobacco Grant Program aims to reduce childhood addiction to tobacco products by supporting local partners who:
For more information about the grant application process or qualifications, please visit oag.ca.gov/tobaccogrants.