Tobacco Grant Program


The Office of the Attorney General established the California Department of Justice Tobacco Grant Program in 2017 to provide annual funds to local enforcement agencies throughout California. To date, the Tobacco Grant Program has distributed approximately $151 million in grant funding to approximately 330 grantees through a competitive process.

This grant cycle the Tobacco Grant Program will make available a total of $22 million in grant funding to promote a healthier California by reducing illegal sales and marketing of cigarettes and tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, to minors.

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 law enforcement agencies, cities, counties, public K-12 districts, and public college districts.

Grantees may use grant funds to enforce a local ordinance or state law related to the illegal sale and marketing of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, to minors and youth. These enforcement efforts may include, but are not limited to:

  • Retailer compliance checks
  • Enforcement of flavor ban laws/ordinances
  • Consumer protection enforcement
  • Illegal online sales and marketing, including use of door-to-door delivery services
  • Retailer training programs
  • Public education outreach
  • Tobacco retail license inspections
  • City police departments, county sheriffs’ offices, and school police departments that apply for funding to, but not limited for:
    • Conducting minor decoy and shoulder tap operations directed at tobacco retailers, including for electronic cigarettes/vape products;
    • Conducting tobacco retailer license inspections;
    • Conducting tobacco-related enforcement operations targeting locations where minors are likely to be present, such as playgrounds, youth sports events, baseball stadiums, school and college campuses, public transit systems, or vehicles with a child present; and
    • Providing education classes or diversion programs for tobacco retailers to help ensure that they understand and comply with state and local tobacco laws.
  • Local public prosecutors, including city attorneys, county counsels or district attorneys who apply for efforts to, but not limited for:
    • Decreasing underage access to tobacco products through prosecuting case involving sales and marketing over the internet of tobacco products to youth under 21; and
    • Investigating potential violations and taking enforcement action to ensure tobacco compliance.
  • Public school districts, public college districts, and law enforcement agencies under contract with school districts that apply for funding to:
    • Perform public education outreach.
    • Carry out enforcement operations and inspections at retail locations in the proximity of school zones.
    • Create media awareness campaigns that are designed and implemented by youth.

Note: Public school districts and County Offices of Education that propose to develop partnerships with law enforcement agencies or hire full time law enforcement personnel must include a letter of intent from the partnering law enforcement agency as part of the grant application. These applications must also explain how the proposed partnerships will focus on tobacco-related restorative or supportive practices rather than punitive consequences for tobacco violations. Funding for on-campus law enforcement personnel, including school resource officers, will not be considered in the 22-23 funding cycle.

For Fiscal Year 2022-2023 a total of $22 million in grant funding is available statewide to support local enforcement efforts to reduce the illegal sale of tobacco products to minors.

  • Selected public agencies will be funded for a two-year to three-year grant cycle. Funding amount will be evaluated based on the submitted grant proposal.
  • The Tobacco Grant Program is a reimbursement grant. The California Department of Justice will reimburse selected public agencies for approved expenditures upon receipt of invoices.
  • Selected public agencies will be required to submit a resolution from their governing body authorizing acceptance of the grant funding.
  • Selected public agencies may not use awarded funds to supplant existing state, local, or federal funds used for the same purpose.

Funding for the Tobacco Grant Program was a result of the passage of the California Healthcare, Research and Prevention Tobacco Tax Act of 2016 (Prop. 56) increasing taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products by $2.00 starting in April 2017. The initiative allocates a portion of annual revenue to the California Department of Justice.

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

Proposition 56, pdf

Eligible agencies must Email a completed application to the California Department of Justice by 11:59 p.m. on August 17, 2022. Grant proposals will not be accepted via hardcopy mail. No late applications will be accepted.

Emailed proposals must be submitted to TobaccoGrantRFP@doj.ca.gov.

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.

A grant application must include both of the following documents:

  • Completed proposal template
  • Completed budget detail excel sheet

Incomplete grant applications will be disqualified and not reviewed by the Merits Review Committee.

Public agencies that propose to develop partnerships with law enforcement agencies or hire full time law enforcement personnel must include a letter of intent from the partnering law enforcement agency as part of the grant application.

To learn more about the Tobacco Grant Program, or to obtain a copy of the Request for Proposals and view related informational documents, please see below.

Tobacco Grant Factsheet, pdf

Request for Proposals, pdf (Applications must be received by Wednesday, August 17, 2022. Includes general information, instructions on preparing a proposal, and answers to frequently asked questions.)

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

Proposal Grant Template (Fill-in form required for all applications. Please download the template to view the fillable PDF version. You may be required to use a current version of the Adobe Reader software to use the fillable template.)

Budget Detail Sheet, xlsx (Fill-in form required for all applications.)

Proposal Checklist, pdf (This checklist is offered as a tool for agencies who intend to submit an application; and should not be submitted with the application package.)

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