State program to target illegal teen tobacco use

Students often opt for flavored e-cigarettes. California is funding a program with local law enforcement agencies to target companies that sell to minors.

Local law enforcement agencies can apply for state funding to help enforce state and local laws governing the illegal sale and marketing of tobacco products to minors. 

California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced Monday that the Department of Justice is accepting proposals for the 2024-2025 Tobacco Grant program. 


The big picture: The program is funded by Proposition 56, which passed in 2016 and has funded around $185 million to 406 agencies through a competitive process. 

  • California is providing around $28.5 million to local agencies through the program. 

State of play: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2023 10 percent of middle and high school students reported using tobacco. 

  • E-cigarettes were the most commonly used product, and of the students who use e-cigarettes, nearly 90 percent of them use flavored varieties. 

What they’re saying: “Together with local law enforcement, we’re successfully collaborating and coordinating efforts to put a halt to the dangers of illicit tobacco products,” Bonta said in a statement. “We must continue to enforce California’s laws around tobacco products, and this funding will allow our communities to do just that, and hold those who violate the law accountable.” 

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