Tobacco Grant Program

The California Healthcare, Research and Prevention Tobacco 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, including e-cigarettes, 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.

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, public college districts, law enforcement agencies, city attorneys and county counsels.  

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 including, but not limited to:

  • Retailer compliance checks
  • Retailer training programs
  • Public education outreach
  • Parent engagement and education
  • Tobacco retail license inspections
  • Preventing and deterring use of tobacco products on school premises
  • Hiring a school resource officer to focus on tobacco issues

Approved by voters in 2016, Prop. 56 increased 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. For Fiscal Year 2020-2021 a total of $28.5 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 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, in arrears, 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 or local funds used for the same purpose.

Eligible agencies must submit a completed application to the California Department of Justice by August 7, 2020. Grant proposals may be mailed or emailed. 

Mailed proposals must be received or postmarked by the deadline.

Emailed proposals may be submitted to TobaccoGrantRFP@doj.ca.gov. Email submissions must be received by 11:59 p.m. on the due date noted above. 

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 includes the following documents:

  • Completed proposal template
  • Completed budget detail excel sheet

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, go to the "More Information" section below.

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

Request for Proposals, pdf (Applications must be postmarked or received by Friday, August 7, 2020. 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 Template, 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.)

Tobacco Grant Factsheet, pdf

Tobacco Grant 2017-2018 grantees, pdf

Tobacco Grant 2018-2019 grantees, pdf

Tobacco Grant 2019-2020 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 TobaccoGrantRFP@doj.ca.gov.

  • Public school districts, public 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;
    • public education outreach;
    • create media awareness campaigns that are designed and implemented by youth.

Note: Public school districts 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.

  • City attorneys, county counsels or district attorneys who apply for 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 playgrounds, 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 and comply with state and local tobacco laws.