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    Home » Sec. 27-5. Prohibiting Purchase or Possession of Tobacco Products by Minors.

    Sec. 27-5. Prohibiting Purchase or Possession of Tobacco Products by Minors.

     

    Sec. 27-5. Prohibiting purchase or possession of tobacco products by minors:
     
    (a) No person shall sell to, distribute to, purchase for or knowing permit the purchase by any person less than eighteen (18) years of age, knowing or having reason to believe that such person is less than eighteen (18) years of age, any tobacco product, including but not limited to cigarettes and cigars. No tobacco product may be sold from a vending machine (i) except in compliance with subsection (e) and (ii) unless notice is posted on the machine in a conspicuous manner and place indicating that the purchase or possession of tobacco products by minors is unlawful.
     
    (b) No person less than eighteen (18) years of age shall purchase or possess any tobacco product including but not limited to cigarettes or cigars. The provisions of this subsection shall not be applicable to the possession of tobacco products by a person less than eighteen (18) years of age making a delivery of tobacco products in pursuit of his employment.
     
    (c) No person shall sell or distribute a tobacco product to any individual who does not demonstrate by producing a driver's license or similar photo identification issued by a government agency, that the individual is at least eighteen (18) years of age. Such identification is not required from an individual whom the person has reason to believe is at least eighteen (18) years of age or whom the person knows is at least eighteen (18) years of age. This subsection shall not apply to mail order sales.
     
    (d) A violation of subsection (a), (b), or (c) by an individual or by a separate retail establishment shall be punishable by a civil penalty not to exceed fifty dollars ($50.00) for a first violation and a civil penalty not to exceed one hundred dollars ($100.00) for a second violation. However, a third or subsequent violation of subsection (a) shall be punishable by a civil penalty not to exceed two hundred and fifty dollars ($250.00). A third or subsequent violation of subsection (b) shall be punishable by a civil penalty not to exceed one hundred dollars ($100.00) and the judge in his discretion may enter an order pursuant to subdivision 9 of Section 16.2-278.8 of the Code of Virginia. The commonwealth's attorney may bring an action to recover the civil penalty, which shall be paid into the city treasury. Any law enforcement officer may issue a summons for a violation of subsection (a), (b), or (c).
     
    (e) (1) Cigarettes shall only be sold in sealed packages provided by the manufacturer, with the required health warning. The proprietor of every retail establishment which offers for sale any tobacco product, including but not limited to cigarettes and cigars, shall post in a conspicuous manner and place a sign or signs indicating that the sale of tobacco products to any person under eighteen (18) years of age is prohibited by law. A violation of this subsection shall be punishable by a civil penalty not to exceed fifty dollars ($50.00). No filing fee or other fee or cost shall be charged to the city when instituting an action under this subsection.
     
    (2) No person shall operate a vending machine which dispenses tobacco products unless such a machine is located in:
     
    (i) a place that is not open to the general public and is not generally accessible to minors; or
     
    (ii) a place that is open to the general public. Such a vending machine shall be inside the establishment and unless the vending machine is at least ten feet from any public entrance to the establishment, or the sale of a token is required to operate such a machine, it shall be placed within the normal unobstructed line of sight of the proprietor or his employees.
     
    (3) A violation of this subsection shall be punishable by a civil penalty not to exceed one hundred dollars ($100.00). No filing fee or other fee or cost shall be charged to the city when instituting an action under this subsection.
     
    (f) Nothing in this section shall be construed to create a private cause of action. (Code 1959, § 22-7; Ord. No. O-96-207, 7-9-96)
     
    Last updated date: 10/23/2006 4:15:21 PM