Seal Beach gets tobacco education grant

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The council this week approved an agreement between the California Department of Justice and the Seal Beach Police for a grant for tobacco-related education and enforcement. The $177,266 three-year grant comes from the California Department of Justice.  The council also approved a $56,546 budget adjustment, equal to this year’s allotment, and authorized Chief Phil Gonshak to execute all contracts and proposals related to the grant.

“The Seal Beach Police Department monitors crime and quality of life conditions relative to the sixteen grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies, tobacco shops, bars, and convenience stores within the city,” according to the staff report prepared by SBPD Lt. Nick Nicholas.

“Our goals and objectives for this grant will be to strategically address the tobacco related ‘Quality of Life’ issues within the City of Seal Beach,” Nicholas wrote.

“The tobacco related problems in our community which are directly related to, or originating from, retail tobacco locations, range from underage possession of tobacco products, furnishing tobacco to minors, smoking in prohibited areas, and tobacco-related littering within our protected coastal areas,” Nicholas wrote.

“In conjunction with these goals and objectives, it is our intent to conduct several enforcement operations to include; underage minor decoy operations, shoulder tapping of people buying tobacco for minors, similarly physical attempts by minor decoys to purchase tobacco inside establishments, and specifically target general enforcement efforts,” Nicholas wrote.

“We will also engage in partnership based prevention and educational efforts by providing educational training for our tobacco retailers and their employees as well as conducting inspections at all of our tobacco retail locations,” Nicholas wrote.

“Furthermore, we would readily publicize our efforts via social media, local news publications and local community television. With that, these quality of life issues can be significantly improved by using these grant funds to implement the above listed measures,” Nicholas wrote.

The grant break down is this:

• 2021-2022: $56,546

• 2022-2023: $59,480

• 2023-2024: $61,240

Seal Beach gets tobacco education grant