2006 Louisiana Laws - RS 14:91.8 — Unlawful sale, purchase, or possession of tobacco; signs required; penalties

§91.8.  Unlawful sale, purchase, or possession of tobacco; signs required; penalties

A.  This Section shall be known and may be cited as the "Prevention of Youth Access to Tobacco Law".

B.  It is the intent of the legislature that enforcement of this Section shall be implemented in an equitable manner throughout the state.  For the purpose of equitable and uniform implementation and application of state and local laws and regulations, the provisions of this Section shall supersede existing or subsequently adopted local ordinances or regulations which relate to the sale, promotion, and distribution of tobacco products.  It is the intent of the legislature that this Section shall be equitably enforced so as to ensure the eligibility for and receipt of any federal funds or grants the state now receives or may receive relating to the provisions of this Section.

C.  It is unlawful for any manufacturer, distributor, retailer, or other person knowingly to sell or distribute any tobacco product to a person under the age of eighteen.  However, it shall not be unlawful for a person under the age of eighteen to accept receipt of a tobacco product from an employer when required in the performance of such person's duties.  At the point of purchase, a sign in type not less than 30-point type shall be displayed that reads "LOUISIANA LAW PROHIBITS THE SALE OF TOBACCO TO PERSONS UNDER AGE 18".

D.  It is unlawful for a vending machine operator to place in use a vending machine to vend any tobacco product automatically, unless the machine displays a sign or sticker in not less than 22-point type on the front of the machine stating, "LOUISIANA LAW PROHIBITS THE SALE OF TOBACCO TO PERSONS UNDER AGE 18", or words of similar meaning.

E.  It is unlawful for any person under the age of eighteen to buy any tobacco product.

F.(1)  It is unlawful for any person under the age of eighteen to possess any tobacco product.

(2)  However, it shall not be unlawful for a person under the age of eighteen to possess a tobacco product under any of the following circumstances:

(a)  When a person under eighteen years of age is accompanied by a parent, spouse, or legal guardian twenty-one years of age or older.

(b)  In private residences.

(c)  When the tobacco product is handled during the course and scope of his employment and required in the performance of such person's duties.

G.  For purposes of this Section, the following definitions apply:

(1)  "Tobacco product" means any cigar, cigarette, smokeless tobacco, or smoking tobacco.

(2)  "Cigar" means any roll of tobacco for smoking, irrespective of size or shape, and irrespective of the tobacco being flavored, adulterated, or mixed with any other ingredients, where such roll has a wrapper made chiefly of tobacco.

(3)  "Cigarette" means any roll for smoking made wholly or in part of tobacco, irrespective of size or shape and irrespective of the tobacco being flavored, adulterated, or mixed with any other ingredient, where such roll has a wrapper or cover made of paper, or any other material, except where such wrapper is wholly or in greater part made of tobacco.

(4)  "Smokeless tobacco" means any finely cut, ground, powdered, or leaf tobacco that is intended to be placed in the oral or nasal cavity.

(5)  "Smoking tobacco" means granulated, plug cut, crimp cut, ready rubbed, and any other kind and form of tobacco prepared in such manner as to be suitable for smoking in a pipe or cigarette.

H.(1)  A person who violates the provisions of this Section by selling or buying tobacco products shall be fined not more than fifty dollars for the first violation.  The penalties for subsequent violations shall be a fine of not more than one hundred dollars for the second violation, a fine of not more than two hundred fifty dollars for the third violation, and a fine of not more than four hundred dollars for any violation thereafter.

(2)  A person who violates the provisions of this Section by possessing tobacco products shall be fined not more than fifty dollars for each violation.

I.  A violation of the signage requirement of Subsection C of this Section shall be deemed to be a violation by the owner of the establishment where the violation occurred.  A violation of the signage requirement of Subsection D of this Section shall be deemed to be a violation by the owner of the vending machine.  For the first such violation, the owner shall be fined not more than fifty dollars.  The penalties for subsequent violations shall be a fine of not more than one hundred dollars for the second violation, a fine of not more than two hundred fifty dollars for the third violation, and a fine of not more than five hundred dollars for any violation thereafter.

J.  The law enforcement agency issuing the citation or making the arrest or the clerk of the court in which a prosecution is initiated, as the case may be, shall notify the commissioner of the office of alcohol and tobacco control of the action and the final disposition of the matter.

Acts 1991, No. 919, §1; Acts 1994, 3rd Ex. Sess., No. 64, §1; Acts 1997, No. 1010, §1.

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