Current Status Introducing Body:
SenateBill Number: 822Primary Sponsor: BryanCommittee Number: 11Type of Legislation: GBSubject: Tobacco products, selling ofResiding Body: SenateComputer Document Number: 436/11544AC.93Introduced Date: 19930602Last History Body: SenateLast History Date: 19930602Last History Type: Introduced, read first time, referred to CommitteeScope of Legislation: StatewideAll Sponsors: Bryan Moore Thomas Russell Ford Jackson Martin Richter GieseType of Legislation: General Bill
Bill Body Date Action Description CMN Leg Involved ____ ______ ____________ ______________________________ ___ ____________ 822 Senate 19930602 Introduced, read first time, 11 referred to CommitteeView additional legislative information at the LPITS web site.
TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 12-21-695 SO TO REQUIRE RETAILERS SELLING TOBACCO PRODUCTS TO OBTAIN A TOBACCO SALES LICENSE FROM THE SOUTH CAROLINA TAX COMMISSION, TO ALLOW TOBACCO PRODUCTS SALES ONLY TO PERSONS EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER, AND TO PROVIDE PENALTIES; TO ADD SECTION 16-17-505 SO AS TO CREATE OFFENSES FOR DISTRIBUTING TOBACCO SAMPLES, COUPONS, OR OTHER PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS TO PERSONS UNDER EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE AND TO PROVIDE PENALTIES AND AN AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE; TO REQUIRE THE SOUTH CAROLINA TAX COMMISSION TO PROVIDE INFORMATION ON TOBACCO SALES LICENSES TO AFFECTED RETAIL LICENSE HOLDERS; AND TO REPEAL SECTION 16-17-500 RELATING TO THE UNLAWFUL SALE OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS TO MINORS.
Whereas, the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina finds that access to tobacco by those under the legal age is a major problem in South Carolina despite the best previous efforts of this body and of the South Carolina law enforcement community; and
Whereas, the General Assembly further recognizes that the current law and enforcement strategy has proved inadequate to the task of restricting access to a contemporary youth population that enjoys unprecedented mobility and personal resources in their recreational pursuits; and
Whereas, the General Assembly further finds that the Surgeon General has determined that nicotine is a very powerful addictive drug, to youth in particular, who are most susceptible to the tobacco industry's massive advertising campaigns which have sought to link tobacco use with athletic activities and an attractive, desirable lifestyle; and
Whereas, the General Assembly acknowledges the overwhelming medical evidence that tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of illness and death in this country, including lung cancer, heart disease, and other pulmonary and cardiovascular afflictions, draining our nation's economy of more than one billion dollars each year in health care costs and lost productivity. Now, therefore
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 12-21-695. (A) Every location with a retail license issued pursuant to Chapter 36 which sells cigarettes, tobacco, and other products taxed pursuant to Section 12-21-620, including locations with vending machines from which cigarettes may be purchased by the general public, shall obtain a tobacco sales license from the South Carolina Tax Commission to sell these tobacco products which only may be sold to a person eighteen years of age or older.
(B) The annual license fee is ten dollars, and at a minimum the license shall contain the name of the licensee and the address of the location.
(C) A person violating this section is subject to a civil fine of two hundred fifty dollars and license suspension of ninety days. For a subsequent violation, a person is subject to a civil fine of five hundred dollars and license suspension of one hundred eighty days. In addition, the tobacco inventory of a person violating this section may be seized."
SECTION 2. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 16-17-505. (A) The distribution of tobacco product samples on a public street or at a public gathering is unlawful except in places where a person must be eighteen years of age or older to be admitted.
(B) The distribution of coupons, vouchers, or other promotional material that may be redeemed or exchanged for tobacco products is unlawful unless the coupon, voucher, or other promotional material states that the offer is available only to a person eighteen years of age or older and is distributed in accordance with subsection (A).
(C) A person violating this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than one hundred dollars.
(D) It is an affirmative defense to a prosecution under this section that the defendant or an agent or employee of the defendant in good faith reasonably relied upon a picture identification stating the persons age or date of birth to whom tobacco samples, coupons, vouchers, or other promotional materials were distributed.
(E) A person who presents a picture identification to obtain tobacco samples, coupons, vouchers or other promotional material which is fraudulent or contains false information concerning the person's age or date of birth is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than twenty-five dollars."
SECTION 3. Section 16-17-500 of the 1976 Code is repealed.
SECTION 4. Within one hundred twenty days of this act's effective date the South Carolina Tax Commission shall contact and provide information to persons holding retail licenses who are or may be subject to the tobacco sales license as provided for in Section 12-21-695 of the 1976 Code, as added by Section 1 of this act, and tobacco sales licenses must be obtained before January 1, 1994.
SECTION 5. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.