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Madera Sheriff Receives Grant To Combat Underage Tobacco Use

MADERA – The Madera County Sheriff’s Office has been awarded $942,525 in state grant funding from California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to combat illegal sale of cigarettes and tobacco products to minors.

The grants, $37.5 million in total, were distributed to 71 local entities throughout the state.

“Tobacco remains a very serious public health concern,” said Attorney General Becerra. “These grants will provide additional tools to law enforcement to help educate kids about the dangers of smoking. The grants will also help local communities enforce laws against selling tobacco products to minors.”

The Madera County Sheriff’s Office will be utilizing this funding, awarded on June 12, to place School Resource Deputies in the Chawanakee, Golden Valley, and Yosemite Unified School Districts.

“Tobacco use and vaping are serious health threats to our student populations,” says Sheriff Jay Varney. “We believe that placing a School Resource Deputy in each of our school districts will have a significant positive impact on the overall safety and wellness of our student populations. We are excited that we are able to utilize this Proposition 56 funding to accomplish this.”

Proposition 56, the California Healthcare Research and Prevention Tobacco Tax Act of 2016, was approved by voters in November 2016. Effective April 2017, it raised the cigarette tax by $2 per pack, with an equivalent increase on other tobacco products.

Prop. 56 specifically allocates $30 million of revenue to be distributed annually by the California Department of Justice to local law enforcement agencies for the support and hiring of peace officers for various activities, including investigations intended to reduce the illegal sale of tobacco products to minors.

This year’s Prop. 56 grant recipients will use the state dollars to fund different anti-smoking campaigns and projects including new training and educational materials for officers and tobacco sellers to reduce illegal sales of tobacco products to minors, and law enforcement operations targeted at retailers selling to minors.

The recipients are among different cities, counties, school districts and sheriff/ police departments click here to see grant recipients.

For a list of all the entities receiving funding from these grants click here.

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