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TO ENACT THE "YOUTH ACCESS TO TOBACCO PREVENTION ACT OF 2005" INCLUDING PROVISIONS TO AMEND SECTION 16-17-500, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO SUPPLYING MINORS WITH TOBACCO OR CIGARETTES, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THIS PROVISION ALSO APPLIES TO THE DISTRIBUTION OR PURCHASE FOR A MINOR OF CIGARETTES, TOBACCO, CIGARETTE PAPER, OR A TOBACCO PRODUCT, TO PROVIDE THAT A PERSON MAY NOT SELL A TOBACCO PRODUCT TO AN INDIVIDUAL WHO DOES NOT PRESENT UPON DEMAND PROPER PROOF OF AGE OR IS NOT BELIEVED TO BE OVER TWENTY-SEVEN YEARS OF AGE, TO PROVIDE THAT A RETAIL DISTRIBUTOR OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS MUST TRAIN ITS RETAIL SALES EMPLOYEES REGARDING THE PROVISIONS CONTAINED IN THIS SECTION, TO PROVIDE THAT CERTAIN INDIVIDUALS LESS THAN EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE MAY NOT PURCHASE, ACCEPT RECEIPT, ATTEMPT TO PURCHASE, ATTEMPT TO ACCEPT RECEIPT OF A TOBACCO PRODUCT, OR PRESENT OR OFFER FRAUDULENT PROOF OF AGE FOR THE PURPOSE OF PURCHASING OR POSSESSING A TOBACCO PRODUCT, TO PROVIDE THAT A LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY MAY USE MINORS TO TEST A COMMUNITY'S COMPLIANCE WITH THIS SECTION, TO PROVIDE THAT IT IS UNLAWFUL FOR AN INDIVIDUAL UNDER THE AGE OF EIGHTEEN TO POSSESS A TOBACCO PRODUCT, TO PROVIDE THE CONDITIONS IN WHICH TOBACCO PRODUCTS MAY BE DISTRIBUTED IN VENDING MACHINES, TO REVISE THE PENALTIES FOR VIOLATING THE PROVISIONS CONTAINED IN THIS SECTION, AND TO DEFINE THE TERM "PERSON"; TO AMEND SECTION 16-17-501, RELATING TO DEFINITIONS OF TERMS RELATING TO THE DISTRIBUTION OF TOBACCO PRODUCT SAMPLES AND THE IMPLEMENTATION OF PROVISIONS THAT REGULATE THE SALE AND USE OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS BY LOCAL GOVERNMENTS, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THESE DEFINITIONS APPLY TO PROVISIONS REGULATING SUPPLYING TOBACCO PRODUCTS TO MINORS; AND TO REVISE THE DEFINITION OF THE TERM "PROOF OF AGE".
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. This act may be cited as the "Youth Access to Tobacco Prevention Act of 2005".
SECTION 2. Section 16-17-500 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 445 of 1996, is further amended to read:
"Section 16-17-500. (A) It
shall be is unlawful for any a person to sell, furnish, give, distribute, purchase for, or provide any a minor under the age of eighteen years with cigarettes, tobacco, cigarette paper, or any substitute therefor a tobacco product. Any person violating the provisions of this section, either in person, by agent or in any other way, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon indictment and conviction, therefor shall be punished as follows:
(1) for a first offense by a fine not exceeding twenty-five dollars;
(2) for a second offense, by a fine not exceeding fifty dollars; and
(3) for a third or subsequent offense, by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars or imprisonment for not more than one year nor less than sixty days, or both.
One-half of any fine imposed shall be paid to the informer of the offense and the other half to the treasurer of the county in which such conviction shall be had.
(B) It is unlawful for a person to sell a tobacco product to an individual who does not present upon demand proper proof of age. Proof of age is not required from an individual who the person reasonably believes to be over twenty-seven years of age. Failure to require identification to verify a person's age shall be used as evidence to the knowing and intentional violation of this provision unless the person knows the individual is at least eighteen years of age. Proof that is demanded, is shown, and reasonably is relied upon for the individual's proof of age is a defense to an action initiated pursuant to this section. To determine whether a person believes an individual is at least twenty-seven years of age, a court may consider, but is not limited to considering, proof of the individual's general appearance, facial characteristics, behavior, and manners. This subsection does not apply to mail order sales.
(C) A retail distributor of tobacco products must train its retail sales employees regarding the provisions contained in this section. In lieu of the penalties contained in subsection (F), a retail establishment that fails to comply with this provision must be fined not more than one thousand dollars. A retail establishment that provides proof that it has complied with the provisions contained in this section is not subject to this penalty.
(D) It is unlawful for an individual less than eighteen years of age to purchase, accept receipt, attempt to purchase, or attempt to accept receipt of a tobacco product, or present or offer to a person proof of age which is false or fraudulent for the purpose of purchasing or possessing a tobacco product. However, a person less than eighteen years of age may be enlisted by local law enforcement agencies to test a community's compliance with this section and to reduce the extent to which tobacco products are sold or distributed to individuals less than eighteen years of age when the testing is under the direct supervision of the law enforcement agency and with the individual's parental consent. In addition, a person less than eighteen years of age may be enlisted by the South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services, or a county alcohol and drug abuse authority to test an outlet's compliance with this section, with the permission of the individual's parent or guardian, to collect data for the federally mandated Youth Access to Tobacco Study.
(E) It is unlawful for an individual less than eighteen years of age to possess a tobacco product. This subsection does not apply to the possession of tobacco products by an individual less than eighteen years of age who delivers tobacco products pursuant to his employment responsibilities.
(F) Tobacco products may be accessible only in vending machines located in an establishment:
(1) which is open only to persons who are eighteen years of age or older; or
(2) where the vending machine is under continuous control by the owner or licensee of the premises, or an employee of the owner or licensee, can be operated only upon activation by the owner, licensee, or employee before each purchase, and is not accessible to the public when the establishment is closed. The owner, licensee, or employee must demand proof of age from a prospective purchaser if he has reasonable grounds to believe the prospective purchaser is less than twenty-seven years of age. Proof that an owner, licensee, or employee demanded, was shown, and reasonably relied upon an individual's proof of age is a defense to any action brought pursuant to this subsection.
Vending machines which distribute tobacco products in establishments must meet the requirements of this section within one hundred twenty days after the effective date of this section or must be removed.
(G) A person or individual that intentionally or knowingly violates a provision contained in this section either in person, by agent, or in any other way, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be punished as follows:
(1) for a first offense, by a fine not less than one hundred dollars;
(2) for a second offense, which occurs within three years of the first offense, by a fine not less than two hundred dollars; and
(3) for a third or subsequent offense, which occurs within three years of the first offense, by a fine not less than three hundred dollars.
All fines must be placed in the state general fund and distributed in the following manner:
(a) one-half must be distributed to the treasurer of the county in which the conviction occurred; and
(b) one-half must be distributed to the county alcohol and drug abuse commission and used for funding youth smoking prevention programs. A violation of this subsection is triable exclusively in either municipal or magistrate court.
A violation of this section is triable exclusively in either municipal or magistrate court.
(H) In lieu of the penalties contained in subsection (G), a court may require an individual who is less than eighteen years of age who illegally purchases or possesses a tobacco product to perform not less than twenty hours of community service for a first offense and not less than forty hours of community service for a second or subsequent offense.
(I) As used in this section 'person' means an individual. 'Person' does not mean a firm, partnership, corporation, company, association, club, or commercial entity the person is associated with.
(J) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a violation of this section does not violate an establishment's beer and wine permit and is not a ground for revocation or suspension of a beer and wine permit.
(K) A person who is less than eighteen years of age and who has been convicted of violating a provision of this section may have his record expunged upon becoming eighteen years of age if he has paid any fine imposed upon him and successfully completed any court-ordered community service."
SECTION 3. Section 16-17-501 of the 1976 Code, as added by Act 445 of 1996, is amended to read:
"Section 16-17-501. As used in this Section and Sections 16-17-500, 16-17-502, 16-17-503, and 16-17-504:
(1) 'Distribute' means to sell, furnish, give, or provide tobacco products, including tobacco product samples, cigarette paper, or a substitute for them, to the ultimate consumer.
(2) 'Proof of age' means a driver's license or
other documentary or written evidence that the individual is eighteen years of age or older identification card issued by this state, or a United States Armed Services identification card.
(3) 'Sample' means a tobacco product distributed to members of the general public at no cost for the purpose of promoting the products.
(4) 'Sampling' means the distribution of samples to members of the general public in a public place.
(5) 'Tobacco product' means a product that contains tobacco and is intended for human consumption."
SECTION 4. The repeal or amendment by this act of any law, whether temporary or permanent or civil or criminal, does not affect pending actions, rights, duties, or liabilities founded thereon, or alter, discharge, release or extinguish any penalty, forfeiture, or liability incurred under the repealed or amended law, unless the repealed or amended provision shall so expressly provide. After the effective date of this act, all laws repealed or amended by this act must be taken and treated as remaining in full force and effect for the purpose of sustaining any pending or vested right, civil action, special proceeding, criminal prosecution, or appeal existing as of the effective date of this act, and for the enforcement of rights, duties, penalties, forfeitures, and liabilities as they stood under the repealed or amended laws.
SECTION 5. If any section, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, sentence, clause, phrase, or word of this act is for any reason held to be unconstitutional or invalid, such holding shall not affect the constitutionality or validity of the remaining portions of this act, the General Assembly hereby declaring that it would have passed this Act, and each and every section, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, sentence, clause, phrase, and word thereof, irrespective of the fact that any one or more other sections, subsections, paragraphs, subparagraphs, sentences, clauses, phrases, or words hereof may be declared to be unconstitutional, invalid, or otherwise ineffective.
SECTION 6. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
This web page was last updated on Tuesday, June 23, 2009 at 2:19 P.M.