Tobacco Grant Program

The California Healthcare, Research and Prevention Tax Act of 2016 (Proposition 56) provides local public agencies with funding to promote a healthier California by reducing illegal sales and marketing of cigarettes and tobacco products to minors. The Office of the Attorney General makes these annual funds available to local law enforcement agencies through the California Department of Justice Tobacco Grant Program.

Approved by voters in 2016, Proposition 56 increased taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products by $2.00 starting in April 2017. The Proposition specifically allocates $30 million of annual revenue to the California Department of Justice. (Rev. & Tax Code, § 30130.57(e)(1).) These funds support local agencies to enforce tobacco-related statutes and ordinances, including to reduce the illegal sale of tobacco products to minors.

The Attorney General encourages local public agencies to learn more about the Tobacco Grant Program, become familiar with the grant requirements and understand the grant proposal process.

Any local public agency within the State of California that has authority to enforce tobacco-related state laws or local ordinances is eligible to apply. This may include cities, counties, public school districts, college districts, law enforcement agencies, city attorneys and county counsels.

Grantees may use grant funds to enforce state and local laws related to the illegal sale and marketing of tobacco products to minors and youth including:

  • Retailer compliance checks
  • Retailer training programs
  • Installation of signage
  • Youth outreach
  • Tobacco retail license inspections
  • Preventing and deterring use of tobacco products on school premises

Selected public agencies will be funded for up to a three-year cycle. Funding amount will be evaluated based on the submitted grant proposal.

The California Department of Justice issued a Request for Proposals on September 5, 2018. Eligible agencies must submit applications to the California Department of Justice by October 5, 2018 at 5:00 PM. All applications must be received by the California Department of Justice by the deadline; late applications will not be considered.

Grant applications will be assessed for their potential to improve enforcement of laws relating to the sale, marketing, and restrictions on the use of tobacco products to minors.

To obtain a copy of the Request for Proposal and related documents, go to the "More Information" section below.

Questions regarding the application process may be directed to the California Department of Justice at tobaccogrants@doj.ca.gov.

For information regarding 2018-2019 funding, applications due 5:00 p.m. October 5, 2018, go to:

Request for Proposals, pdf (issue date: September 5, 2018; application deadline 5:00 p.m. October 5, 2018; includes instructions, examples of previously-funded projects, and answers to frequently-asked questions)

Grant Handbook, pdf (contains further instructions regarding Request for Proposals)

Proposal Coversheet Template, docx (fill-in form required for all applications)

Budget Template, xlsx (fill-in form required for all applications)

Prior Awards, pdf (complete list of DOJ Tobacco Grant awards funded in 2017-18)

Tobacco Grant Factsheet, pdf

Tobacco Grant 2017-2018 example grantees, pdf

Proposition 56, pdf

Rev. & Tax Code §§ 30130.50 – 30130.58, pdf

Questions regarding the application process may be directed to the California Department of Justice  at tobaccogrants@doj.ca.gov.

  • 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 and enforce local tobacco retail licenses;
  • Public school districts, 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 tobacco issues;
    • 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 counsels who apply for an expansion of their efforts to:
    • decrease access to unlawful 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;
    • investigate and prosecute the unlawful sales of tobacco products to minors on the internet and marketing on social media.
  • Local law enforcement, including police departments, sheriffs’ departments, and school police departments that apply for funding to:
    • conduct minor decoy operations including for electronic cigarettes/vape products;
    • increase resources to conduct tobacco-related enforcement operations targeting locations where minors are likely to be present, such as laygrounds, youth sports events, baseball stadiums, school and college campuses, public transit systems, or vehicles with a child present;
    • provide education classes or diversion programs for tobacco retailers to help ensure that they understand state and local tobacco laws.

The following is a select list of fiscal year 2017/2018 grant recipients along with a brief description of how they propose to use grant funding.

  • The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office will conduct tobacco enforcement operations, inspect and educate tobacco retailers, install no smoking signage, meet with youth organizations, and train officers.
  • The Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office will enforce laws prohibiting underage tobacco sales, develop a multiagency tobacco task force, conduct hookah lounge abatement activities, increase youth outreach on tobacco use, and develop a pilot social media campaign to reduce underage tobacco use.
  • The Long Beach Police Department will conduct underage decoy operations of tobacco retailers, partner with other entities for educational campaigns, and liaison with the school district.
  • The San Francisco Department of Public Health will expand the compliance, outreach, and enforcement of tobacco laws applicable to tobacco retailers.
  • The Santa Paula Unified School District will hire school resource officers to conduct student and parent education classes on the harms of tobacco use, conduct tobacco enforcement operations where minors are likely to be present, and conduct tobacco retailer educational classes.
  • The Trinity County Probation Department will hire a school resource officer focused on tobacco education, prevention, intervention and enforcement. The officer will conduct tobacco intervention and cessation classes and tobacco enforcement operations targeting locations where minors are likely to be present. The officer will also maintain partnerships with the local tobacco coalition.

For a complete list of the 2017-2018 grantees, please see the list of Prior Awards, pdf.

Questions regarding the application process may be directed to the Department of Justice at tobaccogrants@doj.ca.gov.