EXETER– Today, the Exeter Unified School District received $279,934 in state funding to tackle the illegal sale of cigarettes, tobacco and vaping products to minors as part of the California Department of Justice’s Tobacco Grant Program. The grants were awarded to 76 local entities throughout the state to support the enforcement of state and local laws related to the illegal sales and marketing of tobacco products to minors. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced the recipients on October 1, 2019. (Link to Attorney General Press Release)
“Tobacco is a serious threat to public health, especially to California’s youth,” said Attorney General Becerra. “These grants will support local communities in enforcing the law and educating kids about the harms of tobacco products. My office is dedicated to ensuring the state has the resources necessary to curb the dangers of tobacco and protect the public’s well-being. Preventing or reducing illegal sales of tobacco to minors will pave the way to a healthier California—we’re committed to tackling this public health crisis head on.”
Exeter Unified School District will use the funding to support a school resource officer and to provide education for students and their families regarding the harmful effects of tobacco and vaping.
The Department of Justice’s Tobacco Grant Program is funded by Proposition 56 (Prop. 56), the California Healthcare, Research and Prevention Tobacco Tax Act of 2016. Beginning April 2017, Prop. 56 raised the cigarette tax by $2.00 per pack, with an equivalent increase on all other tobacco products. Prop. 56 also allocates millions of dollars annually to the California Department of Justice for distribution to local law enforcement agencies for the support and hiring of peace officers for various activities. These activities include investigations and compliance checks to reduce the illegal sale of tobacco products to minors.