2019 Tennessee Code
Title 39 - Criminal Offenses
Chapter 17 - Offenses Against Public Health, Safety and Welfare
Part 15 - Prevention of Youth Access to Tobacco, Smoking Hemp, and Vapor Products Act
§ 39-17-1505. Prohibited purchases or possession by minors -- Penalties.
(a) It is unlawful for a person who has not attained eighteen (18) years of age to possess either a tobacco, smoking hemp, or vapor product, to purchase or accept receipt of either product, or to present or offer to any person any purported proof of age that is false, fraudulent, or not actually that person's own for the purpose of purchasing or receiving any tobacco, smoking hemp, or vapor product.
(b) Any person who violates this section may be issued a citation by a law enforcement officer who has evidence of the violation. Regardless of whether a citation is issued, the product shall be seized as contraband by the law enforcement officer.
(c) A violation of this section is a civil offense, for which the juvenile court may, in its discretion, impose a civil penalty of not less than ten dollars ($10.00) nor more than fifty dollars ($50.00), which may be charged against a parent, guardian, or custodian, but not a minor. The juvenile court may, in its discretion, also impose community service work not to exceed fifty (50) hours or successful completion of a prescribed teen court program for a second or subsequent violation within a one-year period.
(d) A minor who is cooperating with law enforcement officers in an operation designed to test the compliance of other persons with this part shall not be subject to sanctions under this section.
(e) As used in this section, “law enforcement officer” means an officer, employee or agent of government who is authorized by law to investigate the commission or suspected commission of violations of Tennessee law.
(f) It is not unlawful for a person under eighteen (18) years of age to handle or transport:
(1) Tobacco, tobacco products, smoking hemp, or vapor products as a part of and in the course of the person's employment; provided, that the person is under the supervision of another employee who is at least twenty-one (21) years of age; or
(2) Tobacco, smoking hemp, or vapor products as part of an educational project that has been developed by the person for entry and display at an agricultural fair or other agricultural competition or event.
(g) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a person under eighteen (18) years of age from handling or transporting tobacco or hemp as part of and in the course of the person's involvement in any aspect of the agricultural production or storage of tobacco or hemp, the sale of raw tobacco or hemp at market or the transportation of raw tobacco or hemp to a processing facility.