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H.105

Introduced by   Representatives Wright of Burlington, Bostic of St. Johnsbury and DePoy of Rutland City

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Health; smoking; legal age; increase to 21

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to increase the legal smoking age to 21.

AN ACT RELATING TO INCREASING THE LEGAL SMOKING AGE

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  7 V.S.A. § 1003 is amended to read:

§ 1003.  SALE OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS; REQUIREMENTS;

              PROHIBITIONS

(a)  A person shall not sell or provide tobacco products to any person individual younger than 18 21 years of age.

(b)  Beginning August 28, 1997, vending Vending machines selling tobacco products are prohibited.  This subsection shall not apply to a vending machine that is located in a commercial establishment in which by law no person individual younger than 18 21 years of age is permitted to enter at any time.  A single vending machine may not be used to sell other commodities in combination with tobacco products.  A violation of this subsection shall result in the seizure of the vending machine.

* * *

(d)  Beginning January 1, 1999, excepting Except pursuant to contracts in existence prior to March 31, 1997, no person holding a tobacco license shall display or store tobacco products where those products are accessible to consumers without direct assistance by the sales personnel.  This subsection shall not apply to the following:

(1)  A display of tobacco products that is located in a commercial establishment in which by law no person individual younger than 18 21 years of age is permitted to enter at any time.

* * *

Sec. 2.  7 V.S.A. § 1004(a) is amended to read:

(a)  A person An individual shall exhibit proper proof of his or her age upon demand of a person licensed under this chapter, an employee of a licensee or a law enforcement officer.  If the person individual fails to provide such proof of age, the licensee shall be entitled to refuse to sell tobacco products to the person individual.  The sale or furnishing of tobacco products to a person an individual exhibiting proper proof shall be prima facie evidence of a licensee’s compliance with section 1007 of this title.

Sec. 3.  7 V.S.A. § 1005 is amended to read:

§ 1005.  PERSONS INDIVIDUALS UNDER THE AGE OF EIGHTEEN

              TWENTY‑ONE; POSSESSION OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS;

              MISREPRESENTING AGE OR PURCHASING TOBACCO

               PRODUCTS; PENALTY

(a)  A person less than 18 years of age An individual under the age of 21 years shall not possess or purchase tobacco products unless the person individual is an employee of a holder of a tobacco license and is in possession of tobacco products to effect a sale in the course of employment.  A person less than 18 years of age An individual under the age of 21 years shall not misrepresent his or her age to purchase tobacco products.  A person An individual who possesses tobacco products in violation of this subsection shall be subject to having the tobacco products immediately confiscated and shall be further subject to a civil penalty of $25.00.  In the case of failure to pay a penalty, the judicial bureau shall mail a notice to the person individual at the address in the complaint notifying the person individual that failure to pay the penalty within 60 days of the notice will result in either the suspension of the person’s individual’s operator’s license for a period of not more than 90 days or delay the initial licensing of the person individual for a period of not more than one year.  A copy of the notice shall be sent to the commissioner of motor vehicles, who after expiration of 60 days from the date of notice and unless notified by the judicial bureau that the penalty has been paid, shall either suspend the person’s individual’s operator’s license or cause initial licensing of the person individual to be delayed for the periods set forth in this subsection and the rules.  An action under this subsection shall be brought in the same manner as a traffic violation pursuant to chapter 24 of Title 23.  The commissioner of motor vehicles shall adopt rules in accordance with the provisions of chapter 25 of Title 3 to implement the provisions of this subsection, which may provide for incremental suspension or delays not exceeding cumulatively the maximum periods established by this subsection.

(b)  A person less than 18 years of age An individual under the age of 21 years who misrepresents his or her age by presenting false identification to purchase tobacco products shall be fined not more than $50.00 or provide up to 10 hours of community service, or both.

Sec. 4.  7 V.S.A. § 1007 is amended to read:

§ 1007.  FURNISHING TOBACCO TO PERSONS UNDER EIGHTEEN

              INDIVIDUALS UNDER TWENTY-ONE

An individual A person who sells or furnishes tobacco products to a person an individual under 18 21 years of age shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $100.00 for the first offense and not more than $500.00 for any subsequent offense.  An action under this section shall be brought in the same manner as for a traffic violation pursuant to chapter 24 of Title 23 and shall be brought within 24 hours of the occurrence of the alleged violation.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us