Protecting Young People from Tobacco Act

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Summary: The Protecting Young People from Tobacco Act requires that buyers of tobacco products must be at least 21 years of age.

Based on Oregon SB 754 (2017)

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE

This Act shall be called the “Protecting Young People from Tobacco Act.”

SECTION 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE

(A) FINDINGS—The legislature finds that:

  1. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable deaths in our nation, killing more than 480,000 Americans each year.
  2. More than 90 percent of all smokers start as teenagers and, therefore, young people are heavily targeted for advertising by the tobacco industry.
  3. Increasing the age for tobacco sales to 21 will cut the number of young people who start smoking, and that will reduce deaths, disease and health care costs caused by tobacco use.
  4. Five states (CA, HI, ME, NJ and OR) as well as at least 275 localities (including Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Kansas City and New York City) have previously raised the age for tobacco sales from 18 to 21.

(B) PURPOSE—This law is enacted to protect the health and welfare of young residents of this jurisdiction.

SECTION 3. RESTRICTED AGE FOR TOBACCO SALES

After section XXX, the following new section XXX shall be inserted:

(A) DEFINITIONS—In this section:

  1. “Cigarette” means the same as defined in [citation].
  2. “E-cigarette” means any electronic oral device, such as one composed of a heating element, battery, and/or electronic circuit, which provides a vapor of nicotine or any other substances, and the use or inhalation of which simulates smoking. The term shall include any such device, whether manufactured, distributed, marketed, or sold as an e-cigarette, e-cigar, e-pipe, or under any other product name or descriptor.
  3. “Other tobacco product” means any tobacco or product containing tobacco, other than a cigarette, that is intended for human consumption by smoking, by insertion into the mouth or nose, or by other means.

(B) PROHIBITION

  1. A person who knowingly distributes or sells, or allows to be sold, cigarettes, e-cigarettes, or other tobacco products to a person under 21 years of age shall be guilty of a [Class C misdemeanor].
  2. If a person who directly distributes or sells cigarettes, e-cigarettes, or other tobacco products to a person under 21 years of age is acting within the course and scope of his or her employment, any supervisor, manager or business owner who knowingly allows such distribution or sale shall be guilty of a [Class B misdemeanor].

SECTION 4. EFFECTIVE DATE

This law shall become effective on July 1, 20XX.

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