[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Emerson 11-21-1995 by Ord. No. 1054. Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- HEALTH OFFICER
- The Health Officer of the Borough of Emerson and/or his or her authorized representatives and/or designees.
- LOCKING DEVICE
- A device installed on or in a vending machine designed to permit the operation of the machine only when a qualified tobacco retailer is insured that the proposed sale will be to someone who is at least 18 years of age by activating the vending machine for no more than five minutes and to only allow one vend for each activation. The activation device shall not be located on the vending machine, but shall be located within 15 feet thereof.
- An individual, partnership, cooperative, association, corporation, personal representative, receiver, trustee, assignee, or any other legal entity.
- Any product made from the tobacco plant for the purpose of smoking, chewing, inhaling and other personal use, including cigars, chewing tobacco, pipe tobacco, snuff and cigarettes in any form.
- TOBACCO RETAILER
- Any person or entity that operates a store, stand, booth, concession, or place at which sales of tobacco are made to purchasers for consumption or use; shall also mean a person entity that owns, operates or uses a vending machine and/or a vending machine location.
- VENDING MACHINE
- Any automated, self-service device which, upon insertion of money, tokens or any other form of payment, dispenses cigarette or other tobacco products.
It shall be unlawful to sell tobacco to a person under 18 years of age.
It shall be unlawful to sell tobacco unless the person selling is 18 years of age or older.
Sign requirements. A sign having a minimum size of six inches by eight inches shall be posted in a conspicuous place near each cash register in all retail establishments which sell tobacco products and shall contain the following language:
It shall be unlawful for a tobacco retailer to sell or permit to be sold tobacco to any individual without requesting and examining identification from the purchaser positively establishing the purchaser's age as 18 years or greater, unless the seller has some other conclusive basis for determining the buyer is over the age of 18 years.
It shall be unlawful to offer for sale or to sell tobacco through a tobacco vending machine in the Borough of Emerson which does not contain a locking device as defined herein. The machine, with locking device installed or attached, must be located within 15 feet of the control or lever which controls activation of the machine, and should be within the unobstructed view of the tobacco retailer, who shall insure that the prospective vendor of a tobacco product from a vending machine is at least 18 years of age.
All tobacco vending machines upon which a locking device as defined herein is not installed and therefore made unlawful by the terms of this chapter shall be removed within 30 days from the effective date of this chapter. Sale of tobacco to a minor from a vending machine shall also constitute a violation of this section.
Whenever the Health Officer, or his/her designee, or a member of the Emerson Police Department reasonably believes there exists a violation of this chapter, he/she may issue a summons and complaint not later than 90 days after discovery of the alleged violation. The complaint shall be written and shall state with reasonable particularity the nature of the violation, including reference to the article and section of this chapter alleged to have been violated. The complaint shall be delivered or sent by certified mail to the alleged violator.
The Health Officer, or his designee, or a member of the Emerson Police Department, or any other person charged with enforcement of this chapter, after giving proper identification, may inspect any matter, thing, premises, place, person, record, vehicle, incident, or event as necessary.
It shall be unlawful for any person to molest, willfully oppose, verbally abuse or otherwise obstruct the Health Officer, or his designee, who may request the assistance of the Borough of Emerson or the Emerson Police Department or other police agency or peace officer when necessary to execute his or her official duty in a manner prescribed by law.
Citizens may bring complaints against violators of this chapter.
Unless otherwise provided by law, statute or ordinance, any person violating § 262-2 or § 262-3 of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, pay a penalty of not less than $250 nor more than $500 for each offense. A complaint shall be made in the Municipal Court of the Borough of Emerson or before such other judicial officer having authority under the laws of the State of New Jersey.
Each sale of tobacco to a minor shall constitute a separate violation.
A tobacco retailer shall be in violation of this chapter upon the sale of tobacco to anyone who has not attained the age of 18 years. A retailer's good faith belief that a customer is 18 years or over shall not constitute a defense to a violation of this chapter.
If any chapter, section, subsection or paragraph of this chapter is declared to be unconstitutional, invalid or inoperative, in whole or in part, by a court of competent jurisdiction, such chapter, section, subsection or paragraph shall, to the extent that it is not unconstitutional, invalid or inoperative, remain in full force and effect, and no such determination shall be deemed to invalidate the remaining chapters, sections, subsections or paragraphs of this chapter.
This chapter shall be liberally construed for the protection of the health, safety, and welfare of the people of the Borough of Emerson.