City of Springfield, MA
Hampden County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Springfield 6-19-1997; amended in its entirety 9-13-2007 (Title 7, Ch. 7.40, of the 1986 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Drugs and drug products — See Ch. 165.
Peddling and soliciting — See Ch. 279.
Smoking — See Ch. 316.
A. 
Tobacco use is a leading public health problem in the United States. There exists conclusive evidence that tobacco smoke causes cancer, respiratory diseases, various cardiac diseases, negative birth outcomes, allergies and irritations to the eyes, nose and throat.
B. 
More than 80% of all smokers begin before age 18, and more than 3,000 young people begin smoking every day in the United States. Tobacco use by minors is a continuing problem with grave public health consequences. In recognition of the Surgeon General's conclusions that nicotine is as addictive as cocaine or heroin, action is needed to curtail the easy access of tobacco products to minors.
C. 
Therefore, this chapter implements a strict and enforceable system to prevent access to and the illegal sale of tobacco products and nicotine delivery products to minors.
[Amended 11-18-2013]
For the purpose of this chapter, the following definitions shall be applicable:
BUSINESS AGENT
An individual who has been designated by the owner or operator of any establishment to be the manager or otherwise in charge of said establishment.
E-CIGARETTE
Any electronic nicotine delivery product composed of a mouthpiece, heating element, battery and/or electronic circuits that provides a vapor of liquid nicotine to the user, or relies on vaporization of solid nicotine or any liquid. This term shall include such devices whether they are manufactured as e-cigarettes, e-cigars, e-pipes or under any other product name.
[Added 11-18-2013]
EMPLOYEE
Any individual who performs services for an employer in return for wages or profit or performs services as a volunteer.
EMPLOYER
Any individual, partnership, association, corporation, trust or other organized group of individuals, including the City of Springfield or any agency thereof, who or which uses the services of two or more employees.
INDIVIDUAL
Any person who patronizes an area where tobacco products are sold.
NICOTINE DELIVERY PRODUCT
Any manufactured article or product made wholly or in part of a tobacco substitute or containing nicotine that is expected or intended for human consumption, but not including a product approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for sale as a tobacco use cessation or harm reduction product or for other medical purposes and which is being marketed and sold solely for that approved purpose. Nicotine delivery products include, but are not limited to, e-cigarettes.
[Added 11-18-2013]
PERMIT HOLDER
Any person engaged in the sale or distribution of tobacco products directly to consumers who applies for and receives a tobacco sales permit or any person who is required to apply for a tobacco sales permit pursuant to these regulations, or his or her business agent.
PERSON
An individual, employer, employee, retail store manager or owner, or the owner or operator of any establishment engaged in the sale or distribution of tobacco products directly to consumers.
SELF-SERVICE DISPLAY (also known as "FREESTANDING DISPLAYS")
A display from which individual packs or cartons of tobacco products may be physically selected by a customer.
TOBACCO PRODUCT
Any product containing, made, or derived from tobacco or nicotine that is intended for human consumption, whether smoked, chewed, absorbed, dissolved, inhaled, snorted, sniffed, or ingested by any other means, including, but not limited to: cigarettes, cigars, little cigars, chewing tobacco, pipe tobacco, snuff; or electronic cigarettes, electronic cigars, electronic pipes, electronic hookahs, liquid nicotine, "e-liquids" or other similar products, regardless of nicotine content, that rely on vaporization or aerosolization. "Tobacco product" includes any component or part of tobacco product. "Tobacco product" does not include any product that has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration either as a tobacco use cessation product or for other medical purposes and which is being marketed and sold or prescribed solely for the approved purpose.
[Amended 1-8-2018]
VENDING MACHINES
Any machine or device designated for or used for the vending of cigarettes, cigars, tobacco or tobacco products upon the insertion of coins or other forms of payment.
[Amended 11-18-2013; 1-8-2018]
A. 
In conformance with MGL c. 270, § 6, whoever sells a cigarette, or any cigarette paraphernalia, chewing tobacco, snuff, or any tobacco in any of its forms to any person under the age of 21 or, not being his parent or guardian, gives a cigarette, or any cigarette paraphernalia, chewing tobacco, snuff or tobacco in any of its forms to any person under the age of 21, shall be punished according to the provisions of § 362-11 below.
B. 
Identification: Each person selling or distributing tobacco products, as defined herein, shall verify the age of the purchaser by means of a valid government-issued photographic identification containing the bearer's date of birth that the purchaser is 21 years old or older. Verification is required for any person under the age of 27.
C. 
No person or entity shall sell or distribute nicotine delivery products to any person under the age of 21. Nicotine delivery products shall be subject to all sections of this regulation, except § 362-8 of these regulations. Violators shall be punished according to the provisions of § 362-11 of these regulations.
A. 
In conformance with MGL c. 270, § 7, a copy of MGL c. 270, § 7, shall be posted conspicuously by the owner or other person in charge thereof in the shop or other place used to sell cigarettes at retail. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health shall provide the notice to be posted and made available from the Springfield Department of Health and Human Services. Such notice shall be at least 48 square inches and shall be posted at the cash register which receives the greatest volume of single cigarette package sales in such a manner so that it may be readily seen by a person standing at or approaching the cash register. Such notice shall directly face the purchaser and shall not be obstructed from view and shall be placed at a height of not less than four feet or greater than nine feet from the floor. For any other cash register that sell cigarettes, a notice shall be attached which is no smaller than nine square inches, which is the size provided by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Such notice must be posted in a manner so that it may be readily seen by a person standing at or approaching the cash register. Such notice shall directly face the purchaser and shall not be obstructed from view and shall be placed at a height of not less than four feet or more than nine feet from the floor.
B. 
The Springfield Department of Health and Human Services Director designee, Environmental Health Division, the Tobacco Control Division and Police Department shall enforce this section.
C. 
Whoever violates this provision shall be punished by a of $50. Any person unlawfully removing a copy so posted while said premises are used for the sale of cigarettes shall be punished by a of $10.
Self-service displays (also known as "freestanding displays") of tobacco products, from which individual packages or cartons may be physically selected by the customer, are only permitted in facilities where the retailer ensures that no person younger than 18 years of age is present, or permitted to enter, at any time and must be within 10 feet of the regular location and in plain view of the person designated to supervise the sale of tobacco products from self-service displays.
No person or entity shall, in or upon any part of the streets, parks, public grounds, public buildings, or other public places within the City of Springfield, distribute free of charge any products containing tobacco for any promotion or other commercial purpose.
[Amended 1-8-2018]
All tobacco vending machines are prohibited; except that tobacco vending machines are permitted if equipped with a lockout device, in an establishment with a valid pouring liquor license, and located in facilities where the retailer ensures that no person younger than 21 years of age is present, or permitted to enter, at any time. A lockout device locks out sales from the vending machine unless a release mechanism is triggered by an employee. The release mechanism must not allow continuous operation of the vending machine and must be out of the reach of all consumers and in a location accessible only to employees.
The sale and distribution of loose cigarettes, or in packages that contain fewer than 20 cigarettes, in any form other than an original factory-wrapped package is prohibited.
A. 
After December 1, 1997, the Springfield Department of Health and Human Services will issue a "permit for location and sales" that will specify the name, address and approved location per the Springfield Department of Health and Human Services or its designated agent(s) for retailers who are required to be licensed by the state to sell tobacco products.
B. 
After December 1, 1997, all retailers who are required to hold a state license to sell cigarettes, and retailers who sell any other tobacco products, will also be required to hold and maintain a valid permit for location and sales from the City of Springfield for each location at which tobacco products are sold.
C. 
As part of the tobacco sales permit application process, the applicant will be provided with this chapter. Each applicant is required to sign a statement declaring that the applicant has read said regulation and that the applicant is responsible for instructing any and all employees who will be responsible for tobacco sales regarding both state laws regarding the sale of tobacco and this chapter.
D. 
Each applicant is required to provide proof of a current tobacco sales license issued by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue, when required, before a tobacco sales permit can be issued.
E. 
After receiving the permit, the merchant will receive signage from the Springfield Department of Health and Human Services which states: "Sales of cigarettes or any tobacco products to persons under age 18 is illegal, MGL Chapter 270, Sections 6 and 7." Any merchant not posting said signage will be in noncompliance with this chapter and subject to penalties per § 362-11 of this chapter. Each tobacco sales permit shall be displayed at the retail establishment in a conspicuous place.
F. 
Issuance of a tobacco sales permit shall be conditioned on an applicant's consent to unannounced, periodic inspections of his/her retail establishment to ensure compliance with this regulation.
G. 
The term of the permit shall be one year if the licensee complies with the provisions of this chapter.
H. 
The fee for a one-year tobacco retailer's permit for location and sales is $100 for each tobacco retail location.
[Amended 6-3-2013]
I. 
A permit for location and sales is nontransferable, except a new permit will be issued to a tobacco retailer who changes locations and has shown compliance pertaining to the provisions of this chapter. A new owner of an establishment that sells tobacco must apply for a new tobacco sales permit. No new permit will be issued unless and until all outstanding penalties incurred by the previous permit holder and taxes owed to the City of Springfield are satisfied in full.
J. 
Any person or entity selling any tobacco products without said permit shall be d $50 per day until the Springfield Department of Health and Human Services receives an application and payment requesting issuance of a permit.
K. 
After January 1, 2013, all smoking bars will be required to hold and maintain a valid smoking bar permit from the City of Springfield for each location at which tobacco products are sold. A "smoking bar," for the purposes of this regulation, shall mean an establishment that primarily is engaged in the retail sale of tobacco products for consumption by customers on the premises and is required by MGL c. 270, § 22 to maintain a valid permit to operate a smoking bar issued by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue. "Smoking bar" shall include, but not be limited to, those establishments that are commonly known as "cigar bars" and "hookah bars." The smoking bar permit replaces the permit for location and sales. The fee for a one-year smoking bar permit is $250 for each location.
[Added 6-3-2013]
L. 
After January 1, 2013, all theatrical performances upon a stage or in the course of a professional film production which include smoking as part of the performance or production will be required to hold and maintain a valid performance smoking permit from the City of Springfield. The fee for a one-year performance smoking permit is $250.
[Added 6-3-2013]
No commercial entity selling tobacco products at retail shall allow any employee to sell cigarettes or other tobacco products until such employee reads the Springfield tobacco sales ordinance and state laws regarding the sale of tobacco and signs a statement, a copy of which will be placed on file in the office of the employer, that he/she has read the regulation and applicable state laws. Any employee who sells or provides cigarettes/tobacco products to a minor shall be d $100.
A. 
Any permit holder who fails to comply with §§ 362-4 through 362-9 of this chapter shall be punished by a fine of $100.
[Amended 6-3-2013]
B. 
It shall be the responsibility of the permit holder in charge of the area where tobacco products are being sold to ensure compliance with all sections of this chapter pertaining to his/her place of business.
C. 
The permit holder in charge of the area permitted for tobacco sales involved in a violation of § 362-3 or § 362-8 of this chapter shall receive:
[Amended 6-3-2013]
(1) 
In the case of a first violation, the permit holder in charge of the area permitted for tobacco sales, or persons not in compliance with the provisions of this chapter, shall receive a fine of $100. The Springfield Department of Health and Human Services shall give the permit holder notification of the ordinance, educational information and make the permit holder aware of the Springfield Department of Health and Human Services' availability to conduct workshops related to the Massachusetts state laws and the local ordinance on the illegal sales of cigarettes/tobacco products to minors. The permit holder shall also be informed of what constitutes a violation, penalties and enforcement of the ordinance.
(2) 
In the case of two violations within a fifteen-month period, the permit holder in charge of the area permitted for tobacco sales or persons (other than an employee) not in compliance with the provisions of § 362-3 of this chapter shall receive a fine of $200.
(3) 
In the case of three violations within a fifteen-month period, the permit holder in charge of the area permitted for tobacco sales or persons (other than an employee) not in compliance with the provisions of this chapter shall receive a fine of $300 and the tobacco sales permit shall be suspended for seven consecutive business days.
(4) 
In the case of four violations within a fifteen-month period, the permit holder in charge of the area permitted for tobacco sales or persons (other than an employee) not in compliance with the provisions of this chapter shall receive a fine of $300 and the tobacco sales permit shall be suspended for 30 consecutive business days.
(5) 
In the case of five violations within a fifteen-month period, the permit holder in charge of the area permitted for tobacco sales or person (other than an employee) not in compliance with the provisions of this chapter shall receive a fine of $300 and the tobacco sales permit shall be revoked for the remainder of the current permit term or 12 months, whichever period is longer.
D. 
For any suspension or revocation, Springfield Department of Health and Human Services shall provide notice to the permit holder of the intent to suspend or revoke its tobacco sales permit, which date shall be no earlier than seven days after the date of said notice. The permit holder shall have an opportunity to be heard at a hearing. Such hearing shall be held before the Environmental Subcommittee of the City of Springfield Public Health Council. If, after a hearing, the permit holder is found in violation, and the permit to sell tobacco is revoked or suspended by the Subcommittee, all tobacco products shall be removed from the premises for the duration of the revocation or suspension. Permit holders must reapply for a new permit each year.
E. 
As an alternative to initiating criminal proceedings, violations of this chapter may be enforced in the manner provided in MGL c. 40, § 21D. Please note that currently the Housing Court Department, Western Division, processes and hears the so-called "21D noncriminal hearings."
F. 
Each day any violation exists shall be deemed to be a separate offense.
G. 
The Police Department and Health and Human Services officers shall enforce this chapter. Any citizen who desires to register a complaint pursuant to this chapter may do so by contacting the Springfield Department of Health and Human Services and the Department shall investigate the complaint.
H. 
Any employee of the permit holder who sells or provides tobacco products to a minor in violation of this chapter shall be subject to a of $100 for each occurrence.