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Substitute House Bill No. 5457

PUBLIC ACT NO. 96-240

AN ACT CONCERNING CHILDREN'S ACCESS TO TOBACCO.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 12-285 of the general statutes, as amended by section 30 of public act 95-79, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

When used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires, "person" means any individual, firm, fiduciary, partnership, corporation, limited liability company, trust or association, however formed; "distributor" means (1) any person in this state engaged in the business of manufacturing cigarettes; (2) any person, other than a buying pool, as defined herein, who purchases cigarettes at wholesale from manufacturers or other distributors for sale to licensed dealers, and who maintains an established place of business, including a location used exclusively for such business, which has facilities in which a substantial stock of cigarettes and related merchandise for resale can be kept at all times, and who sells at least seventy-five per cent of such cigarettes to retailers who, at no time, shall own any interest in the business of the distributor as a partner, stockholder or trustee; (3) any person operating five or more retail stores in this state for the sale of cigarettes who purchases cigarettes at wholesale for sale to dealers but sells such cigarettes exclusively to retail stores such person is operating; (4) any person operating and servicing twenty-five or more cigarette vending machines in this state who buys such cigarettes at wholesale and sells them exclusively in such vending machines. If a person qualified as a distributor in accordance with this subdivision, in addition sells cigarettes other than in vending machines, such person shall be required to be qualified as a distributor in accordance with subdivision (2) of this section and have an additional distributor's license for purposes of such other sales; (5) any person who imports into this state unstamped cigarettes, at least seventy-five per cent of which are to be sold to others for resale; (6) any person operating storage facilities for unstamped cigarettes in this state; "cigarette vending machine" means a machine used for the purpose of automatically merchandising packaged cigarettes through the insertion of the proper amount of coins therein by the purchaser BUT DOES NOT MEAN A RESTRICTED CIGARETTE VENDING MACHINE; "RESTRICTED CIGARETTE VENDING MACHINE" MEANS A MACHINE USED FOR THE DISPENSING OF PACKAGED CIGARETTES WHICH AUTOMATICALLY DEACTIVATES AFTER EACH INDIVIDUAL SALE, CANNOT BE LEFT OPERABLE AFTER A SALE AND REQUIRES, PRIOR TO EACH INDIVIDUAL SALE, A FACE-TO-FACE INTERACTION OR DISPLAY OF IDENTIFICATION BETWEEN AN EMPLOYEE OF THE AREA, FACILITY OR BUSINESS WHERE SUCH MACHINE IS LOCATED AND THE PURCHASER; "dealer" means any person other than a distributor who is engaged in this state in the business of selling cigarettes, including any person operating and servicing fewer than twenty-five cigarette vending machines who shall be classified herein as a vending machine dealer; "licensed dealer" means a dealer licensed under the provisions of this chapter; "stamp" includes impressions made by metering machines authorized to be used under the provisions of section 12-299; "sale" or "sell" includes or applies to gifts, exchanges and barter; and "buying pool" means and includes any combination, corporation, association, affiliation or group of retail dealers operating jointly in the purchase, sale, exchange or barter of cigarettes, the profits from which accrue directly or indirectly to such retail dealers, provided any person holding a distributor's license issued prior to June 29, 1951, shall be deemed to be a distributor within the terms of this section. For the purposes of part I and part II only of this chapter, "cigarette" means and includes any roll for smoking made wholly or in part of tobacco irrespective of size or shape and irrespective of whether the tobacco is flavored, adulterated or mixed with any other ingredient, where such roll has a wrapper or cover made of paper or any other material, except where such wrapper is wholly or in the greater part made of tobacco and such roll weighs over three pounds per thousand, provided, if any roll for smoking has a wrapper made of homogenized tobacco or natural leaf tobacco, and the roll is a cigarette size so that it weighs three pounds or less per thousand, such roll is a cigarette and subject to the tax imposed by part I and part II of this chapter; "unstamped cigarette" means any package of cigarettes to which the proper amount of Connecticut cigarette tax stamps or impressions have not been affixed.

Sec. 2. Section 12-286a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Each distributor and each dealer, as defined in section 12-285, shall place and maintain in legible condition at each point of sale of cigarettes to consumers, including the front of each vending machine, AND EACH RESTRICTED CIGARETTE VENDING MACHINE a notice which states [that] (1) THAT the sale, giving or delivering of tobacco products, including cigarettes, to any person under eighteen years of age [and] IS PROHIBITED BY SECTION 53-344, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 8 OF THIS ACT, (2) the purchase or misrepresentation of age by a person under eighteen years of age to purchase cigarettes or tobacco products is prohibited by SAID section 53-344 AND (3) THE PENALTIES AND FINES FOR VIOLATING SAID SECTION 53-344 AND SECTION 6 OF THIS ACT.

(b) Any person who violates subsection (a) of this section shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars.

Sec. 3. Section 12-289a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) [A] NO cigarette vending machine [shall not] OR RESTRICTED CIGARETTE VENDING MACHINE MAY be placed in an area, facility or business which is frequented primarily by minors. NO CIGARETTES MAY BE DISPENSED FROM ANY MACHINE OTHER THAN A CIGARETTE VENDING MACHINE OR A RESTRICTED CIGARETTE VENDING MACHINE.

[(b) A cigarette vending machine may be placed in an area, facility or business frequented by persons of all ages provided (1) use of the machine is in plain view and under the direct supervision of an adult employee of the area, facility or business or (2) if the area, facility or business has a separate area accessible only to adults, the machine shall be placed in such a designated area.]

(b) A CIGARETTE VENDING MACHINE MAY BE PLACED ONLY IN (1) AN AREA, FACILITY OR BUSINESS WHICH IS ACCESSIBLE ONLY TO ADULTS OR (2) AN AREA, FACILITY OR BUSINESS PERMITTED UNDER CHAPTER 545 IF THE AREA, FACILITY OR BUSINESS HAS A SEPARATE AREA ACCESSIBLE ONLY TO ADULTS AND THE MACHINE IS PLACED IN SUCH AREA.

(c) A CIGARETTE VENDING MACHINE, UNTIL JULY 1, 1998, MAY BE PLACED IN AN AREA, FACILITY OR BUSINESS PERMITTED UNDER CHAPTER 545 WHICH DOES NOT HAVE A SEPARATE AREA ACCESSIBLE ONLY TO ADULTS PROVIDED THE MACHINE IS NOT PLACED IN A VESTIBULE, LOBBY, ENTRYWAY, EXIT OR RESTROOM AND THE MACHINE IS UNDER THE DIRECT SUPERVISION, AND IN THE DIRECT LINE OF SIGHT OF, AN ADULT EMPLOYEE OF THE PERMITTEE.

(d) A CIGARETTE VENDING MACHINE, UNTIL MAY 1, 1997, MAY BE PLACED IN AN AREA, FACILITY OR BUSINESS NOT PROVIDED FOR UNDER SUBSECTIONS (b) AND (c) OF THIS SECTION PROVIDED THE MACHINE IS NOT PLACED IN A VESTIBULE, LOBBY, ENTRYWAY, EXIT OR RESTROOM AND THE MACHINE IS UNDER THE DIRECT SUPERVISION, AND IN THE DIRECT LINE OF SIGHT OF, AN ADULT EMPLOYEE.

(e) AFTER MAY 1, 1997, NO CIGARETTE VENDING MACHINE MAY BE PLACED IN ANY AREA, FACILITY OR BUSINESS OTHER THAN AS PROVIDED IN SUBSECTIONS (b) AND (c) OF THIS SECTION.

(f) AFTER JULY 1, 1998, NO CIGARETTE VENDING MACHINE MAY BE PLACED IN ANY AREA, FACILITY OR BUSINESS OTHER THAN AS PROVIDED IN SUBSECTION (b) OF THIS SECTION.

(g) THE COMMISSIONER OF REVENUE SERVICES SHALL ASSESS ANY PERSON, DEALER OR DISTRIBUTOR WHO VIOLATES THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION A CIVIL PENALTY OF TWO HUNDRED FIFTY DOLLARS FOR A FIRST VIOLATION AND FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS FOR A SECOND VIOLATION WITHIN EIGHTEEN MONTHS. FOR A THIRD VIOLATION WITHIN EIGHTEEN MONTHS, SUCH PENALTY SHALL BE FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS AND ANY SUCH MACHINE SHALL BE IMMEDIATELY REMOVED FROM SUCH AREA, FACILITY OR BUSINESS AND NO SUCH MACHINE MAY BE PLACED IN SUCH AREA, FACILITY OR BUSINESS FOR A PERIOD OF ONE YEAR FOLLOWING SUCH REMOVAL.

[(c)] (h) Nothing in this section shall be construed as limiting a town or municipality from imposing more restrictive conditions on the use of vending machines for the sale of cigarettes. A municipality shall be responsible for the enforcement of such conditions.

Sec. 4. Section 12-314 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

The sale of single cigarettes OR CIGARETTES OTHER THAN IN AN UNOPENED PACKAGE ORIGINATING WITH THE MANUFACTURER WHICH BEARS THE HEALTH WARNING REQUIRED BY LAW is prohibited. [The commissioner may authorize a distributor to give away sample packages each of which contains not less than two cigarettes and the taxes on which have previously been paid.]

Sec. 5. (NEW) The Commissioner of Revenue Services may authorize a dealer or distributor to give or deliver any cigarette, as defined in section 12-285 of the general statutes, as amended, or tobacco product, as defined in section 12-330a of the general statutes, in connection with the promotion or advertisement of such cigarette or tobacco product without receiving monetary consideration from the person receiving the cigarette or tobacco product provided (1) such distribution is on the premises of a licensed dealer as defined in said section 12-285 or at any event or establishment with an area the access to which is limited to adult patrons provided such distribution is restricted to such area, (2) the sample of cigarettes, if applicable, contains no less than two cigarettes and (3) the taxes on such cigarettes have been previously paid. The licensed dealer or distributor shall be liable for any gift or delivery of cigarettes or tobacco products to minors on his premises by any person conducting a promotion or advertisement of such cigarette or tobacco product in accordance with this section. This section shall not apply to the gift or delivery of a cigarette package in connection with a sale of similar package of cigarettes.

Sec. 6. (NEW) (a) If the Commissioner of Revenue Services finds, after a hearing, that a minor has purchased cigarettes or tobacco products, said commissioner shall assess such minor a civil penalty of not more than fifty dollars for the first violation and not more than one hundred dollars for any second or subsequent offense.

(b) If said commissioner finds, after a hearing, that any person employed by a dealer or distributor, as defined in section 12-285 of the general statutes, has sold, given or delivered cigarettes or tobacco products to a minor other than a minor who is delivering or accepting delivery in his capacity as an employee, said commissioner shall assess such person a civil penalty of one hundred dollars for the first violation and one hundred fifty dollars for a second or subsequent violation within eighteen months.

(c) If said commissioner finds, after a hearing, that any dealer or distributor has sold, given or delivered cigarettes or tobacco products to a minor other than a minor who is delivering or accepting delivery in his capacity as an employee, or such dealer or distributor's employee has sold, given or delivered cigarettes or tobacco products to such minor, said commissioner shall assess such dealer or distributor a civil penalty of two hundred fifty dollars for the first violation and five hundred dollars for a second violation within eighteen months. For a third violation within eighteen months, such dealer or distributor shall be assessed a civil penalty of five hundred dollars and any license held by such dealer or distributor under chapter 214 of the general statutes shall be suspended for not less than thirty days.

(d) If said commissioner finds, after a hearing, that any owner of an establishment in which a cigarette vending machine or restricted cigarette vending machine is located has sold, given or delivered cigarettes or tobacco products from any such machine to a minor other than a minor who is delivering or accepting delivery in his capacity as an employee, or has allowed cigarettes or tobacco products to be sold, given or delivered to such minor from any such machine, said commissioner shall assess such dealer or distributor a civil penalty of two hundred fifty dollars for the first violation and five hundred dollars for a second violation within eighteen months. For a third violation within eighteen months, such dealer or distributor shall be assessed a civil penalty of five hundred dollars and any such machine shall be immediately removed from such establishment and no such machine may be placed in such establishment for a period of one year following such removal.

(e) Any person aggrieved by any action of the commissioner pursuant to this section may take any appeal of such action as provided in sections 12-311 and 12-312 of the general statutes.

Sec. 7. (NEW) The Commissioner of Revenue Services shall prepare a report on enforcement efforts undertaken pursuant to sections 12-286a, 12-289a and 12-314 of the general statutes, as amended by this act and section 5 of this act. Such report shall include the number of unannounced inspections conducted by said commissioner, a summary of enforcement actions taken pursuant to said sections, and an assessment of the progress made in the previous fiscal year in reducing the availability of tobacco products to minors. Said commissioner shall transmit such report on or before January 1, 1998, and annually thereafter, to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to public health, to the select committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to children and to the state agency designated by the Governor as being responsible for reducing the rate at which tobacco products are being sold to persons under eighteen years of age.

Sec. 8. Subsection (a) of section 53-344 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Any person who sells, gives or delivers to any minor under eighteen years of age tobacco UNLESS THE MINOR IS DELIVERING OR ACCEPTING DELIVERY IN HIS CAPACITY AS AN EMPLOYEE in any form shall be fined not more than [fifty] TWO HUNDRED dollars for the first offense [and not less than fifty dollars nor more than one hundred dollars for each subsequent offense] THREE HUNDRED FIFTY DOLLARS FOR A SECOND OFFENSE WITHIN AN EIGHTEEN-MONTH PERIOD AND NOT MORE THAN FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS FOR EACH SUBSEQUENT OFFENSE WITHIN AN EIGHTEEN-MONTH PERIOD.

Sec. 9. (NEW) For purposes of sections 2, 5, 6, 7 and 8 of this act, "distributor" includes a manufacturer of tobacco products.

Sec. 10. This act shall take effect from its passage, except that sections 6 and 7 shall take effect July 1, 1997.

Approved June 6, 1996. Effective as provided in section 10.

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