City Gets Grant to Help Fight Against Tobacco Use Among Minors

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The city of West Hollywood is a no smoking zone for minors. The City was awarded a $75,000 state grant from the office of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to combat the illegal sale of cigarettes and tobacco products to minors. The grant is part of a statewide effort to fund activities that reduce illegal sales. The Attorney General’s office announced a total of $37.5 million in grants to be distributed to 71 local entities throughout California.

The City of West Hollywood will use this funding to develop a training program, inspect licensed tobacco retailers, raise public awareness regarding nicotine use, and coordinate operations to identify illegal retailers.

“The next generation — our local students  — led the effort by participating in actions to expose retailers who were selling to underage youth,” said City of West Hollywood Councilmember Lindsey P. Horvath. “I’m thrilled that the Attorney General has followed their lead by providing new funding for the City of West Hollywood and for communities across California to hold tobacco retailers accountable for selling cigarettes and tobacco products to minors.”

The grant program is the result of Proposition 56 — the California Healthcare, Research and Prevention Tobacco Tax Act of 2016 — which came into effect in April 2017. Proposition 56, the California Healthcare, Research and Prevention Tax Act of 2016, funds a Department of Justice grant program. Each year the Department distributes $30 million to cities, counties, law enforcement, and local government agencies in California to enforce tobacco laws and ordinances. (See Rev. & Tax Code, § 30130.57(e)(1).) The Department provides funds in a three-year cycle to support and hire front-line law enforcement peace officers for various tobacco-related programs. These programs include, but are not limited to, enforcement of state and local laws related to the illegal sales and marketing to minors, and investigative activities and compliance checks to reduce illegal sales of cigarettes to minors and youth. The Division of Law Enforcement and the Tobacco Litigation and Enforcement Section participate in the administration of this grant program.

For additional information about the Proposition 56 grant program, visit https://oag.ca.gov/tobacco/highlights#prop56grants.

For more information, please contact the City of West Hollywood’s Public Safety Department at (323) 848-6414.

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