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 $170 million in grant funding through a competitive 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 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

A priority for this funding cycle is retail education and enforcement. Below are examples of local entities that are eligible to apply for funds as part of the Tobacco Grant Program in this cycle.

  • Local law enforcement, including police departments, sheriffs’ departments, and school police departments that apply for funding to:
    • enforce the statewide retail flavor ban and similar local retail flavor ordinances;
    • conduct minor decoy and shoulder tap operations;
    • provide education classes or diversion programs for tobacco retailers to help ensure that they understand and comply with state and local tobacco laws;
    • investigate online and delivery services.

    Note: Local law enforcement agencies that propose to develop partnerships with public school/college districts must include a letter of intent from the partnering public 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 enforcement personnel on school campuses is not a priority in this funding cycle.

  • City attorneys, county counsels or district attorneys who apply for funding to:
    • decrease access to unlawful tobacco products, for instance, through prosecuting cases involving contraband or unstamped tobacco products;
    • investigate and take enforcement action against non-compliant business establishments;
    • develop multilingual media outreach campaigns;
    • investigate and prosecute the unlawful sales and marketing of tobacco products to minors on the internet.
  • 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.

For Fiscal Year 2023-2024, an estimated $24.6 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 submit a completed application to DOJ by 11:59 p.m. on June 21, 2023.

Grant proposals must be submitted by e-mail to

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

Any applicant agency that plans to partner or contract with another agency/entity to achieve the stated goals and objectives of their proposal, must include a letter of intent from the partnering agency/entity 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, June 21, 2023. 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 DOJ at