SB 1265 Creates enforcement provisions to prohibit sale of tobacco products to minors
LR Number:4969S.01I Fiscal Note:4969-01
Committee:Commerce and Environment
Last Action:03/05/02 - Second Read and Referred S Commerce & Environment Journal page:S447
Effective Date:August 28, 2002
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Current Bill Summary

SB 1265 - This act creates enforcement provisions regarding tobacco sales to minors. Beginning January 1, 2003, the Division of Liquor Control shall submit an annual report to the General Assembly regarding the effectiveness of reducing tobacco possession by minors and related enforcement activities. The act prohibits sale of tobacco products to any person that the seller believes is less than eighteen, punishable by a fine of $250 for the first violation and $500 for subsequent violations. The act requires retailers to post signs reflecting the prohibition.

Individual packs of cigarettes or smokeless tobacco products shall be sold only through vending machines from a display located behind the check-out counter or within the unobstructed sight of the sales clerk. Vending machines shall be within sight of the clerk, or equipped with a lock-out device which will allow a single sale when activated. No person or entity shall sell tobacco products to minors, or sell individual cigarettes to any person. Violators shall be fined from $25 to $250. Any owner or operator of the outlet where the products are sold in violation shall be penalized by the Division of Liquor Control, with certain exemptions if the establishment has an in-house training program for employees. If the offense is enforced by state authorities the state penalty applies, if enforced by local authorities local law applies.

A driver's license shall be displayed upon request of a Liquor Control agent or owner or employee of an establishment that sells tobacco. Any person who alters a license shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a $1000 fine and up to 1 year in jail, or both.

No person under eighteen shall purchase or possess cigarettes, with certain exceptions. A violation shall be an infraction, and the person must complete a tobacco education program upon any subsequent violation.

The act prohibits sale of tobacco products without a state retail sales tax license. The Division shall not use minors in enforcement actions without meeting mandatory guidelines.

This act is identical to portions of HB 381 (2001).