Tobacco Enforcement Program

The Tobacco Enforcement Program (TEP) was created in 2012 by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and funding was provided to the Texas School Safety Center (TxSSC) at Texas State University. TxSSC funds local law enforcement agencies across the state of Texas to help enforce Texas laws regarding youth access to tobacco products.

TxSSC has created this TEP Manual to aid all law enforcement agencies funded through this program.

Download FY15 TEP Training Manual

Funding Available for Local Law Enforcement Agencies

The Texas School Safety Center (TxSSC) at Texas State University on behalf of the Department of State Health Services (DSHS), Tobacco Prevention and Control Branch solicits applications from local law enforcement agencies for the purpose of conducting controlled buy/stings of tobacco permitted retail outlets in respective jurisdictions. The Tobacco Enforcement Program (TEP) is a program of the TxSSC, and is funded through a contract from DSHS. Selected law enforcement agency contractors conduct on-site controlled buy/stings involving the use of minors as decoys, record the controlled buy/sting information on the DSHS Controlled Buy/Sting Report Form, and submit monthly activity reports to TxSSC. TxSSC reimburses contracted law enforcement agencies $75.00 for each completed controlled buy/sting. Applications are mailed to all law enforcement agencies in Texas during the month of April for a 12 month funding cycle of September 1 – August 31 of each fiscal year. For questions, contact Chad L. Nolte at (512) 245-9665, or email cn1082@txstate.edu.

Fiscal year 2015 Application and Funding Announcement are provided below as a reference.

Download Application

Download Funding Announcement

Texas Tobacco Law

The Texas legislature passed the Texas Tobacco Law in 1997 to limit minors' access to tobacco and thereby prevent young people from a lifetime of tobacco addiction and possible disease and premature death.

The law holds retailers accountable for tobacco sales to minors and provides strict consequences for youth who are cited for using, purchasing or even possessing tobacco products. If they're under 18, it's illegal for them to have cigarettes, dip or other forms of tobacco and for anyone to provide it for them.

Please go to www.texastobaccolaw.org to learn more about the state and federal laws affecting minors and tobacco, to find Texas Youth Tobacco Awareness Program classes and information, and to participate in an online training course entitled, "Enforcing Tobacco Laws in Texas." TCLEOSE credit is available to all law enforcement officers successfully completing this online course.

This is a compilation of local, state, and federal laws pertaining to tobacco enforcement. For your convenience the handbook has an active table of contents that allows you to navigate through the different sections of the handbook.

Download Tobacco Laws Handbook