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News Release from Comptroller Susan Combs

For Immediate Release
April 12, 2010

Funds Available to Enforce Underage Smoking Ban

(AUSTIN) — Schools and local law enforcement agencies battling to keep tobacco out of the hands of children can get financial assistance from the Texas Comptroller’s office.

Grants ranging from $1,000 to $150,000 can be used for specific activities such as tobacco education for kids, tobacco retailers and court personnel; keeping schools and school events tobacco free; and sting operations to catch retailers selling tobacco products to minors.

“Consistent education efforts show kids and retailers that Texas is serious about preventing young people from taking up an extremely costly habit — in terms of money spent on tobacco and the high cost of tobacco related illnesses,” Texas Comptroller Susan Combs said.

The deadline to apply for 2010-11 grants is May 7, 2010, for schools with on-campus law enforcement and May 14, 2010, for police departments, sheriffs, constables and district attorneys. The available grant amount for law enforcement agencies depends on the number of tobacco retailers within a jurisdiction. The grant amount available for school districts is based on the number of students who will be taught about the law prohibiting people under 18 from smoking or possessing tobacco and the consequences of violating the law.

More information and grant application forms can be found on the Comptroller’s Web site at http://www.texasahead.org/lga/tcg/isd/ for schools or http://www.texasahead.org/lga/tcg/leo/ for law enforcement agencies, or call (888) 783-7123.

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