[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Mount Pleasant 9-25-2018 by L.L. No. 6-2018. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Town Board hereby finds and determines that the Town of Mount Pleasant has a substantial interest in reducing the number of individuals of all ages who use cigarettes and other tobacco and nicotine products, and a particular interest in protecting adolescents from tobacco dependence and the illnesses and premature death associated with tobacco and nicotine use. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides that more than 16 million Americans are living with a disease caused by smoking. Furthermore, smoking causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Tobacco companies sell products that are addictive and inherently dangerous, causing cancer, heart disease, and other serious illnesses. Primary tobacco use is a major cause of mortality and morbidity, directly causing an estimated 480,000 deaths per year in the United States, more deaths than are caused by the use of any other legal or illegal substance or drug. An overwhelming majority of Americans who use tobacco products begin using such products while they are adolescents and become addicted before reaching the age of 18. The Surgeon General of the United States has concluded that if young people do not start using tobacco by age 26, they almost certainly will never start. The effects of smoking generated by the smoking of cigars, cigarettes, pipes, and similar articles pose a threat to the health, safety and well-being of youth within the Town of Mount Pleasant. Therefore, it is the intent of the Town of Mount Pleasant to reduce the youth smoking rate by prohibiting the sale of tobacco products to persons under the age of 21.
The Town Board further finds that the Town has a substantial interest in responding to the increased use of electronic cigarettes and nicotine delivery products among adolescents. E-cigarettes are now the most commonly used tobacco product among youth, having surpassed conventional cigarettes in 2014. Public health authorities and agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Surgeon General, have advised that the use of e-cigarettes and nicotine delivery products poses significant and avoidable health risks to young people.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- NICOTINE DELIVERY PRODUCT
- Any article or product made wholly or in part of a tobacco substitute or otherwise containing nicotine that is expected or intended for human consumption, but not including a tobacco substitute prescribed by a licensed physician or a product that has been 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, vapes, vaporizers, vape pens, lozenges or other candy, drinks, and inhalers.
- A person, firm, company, corporation, partnership, sole proprietor, limited partnership or association.
- RETAIL ESTABLISHMENT
- Any retail service establishment whose primary purpose is to sell or offer for sale to consumers, but not for resale, any goods, wares, merchandise, articles, other things or services. "Retail store" shall include retail food stores but shall not include restaurants as defined herein.
- TOBACCO PRODUCTS
- One or more cigarettes or cigars, bidis, chewing tobacco, powdered tobacco, blunt papers or wrappers, cigarette rolling papers of any kind, or any other tobacco products.
No person shall sell tobacco products, liquid nicotine products or nicotine delivery products in the Town of Mount Pleasant unless the sale of such products is controlled by an employee of the establishment. A person may only sell tobacco products or nicotine delivery products in a direct, face-to-face exchange between the retailer and the consumer. Self-service displays of tobacco products or nicotine delivery products shall be prohibited.
No person shall sell tobacco products, liquid nicotine products or nicotine delivery products to any person under the age of 21 years or, not being his/her parent or guardian, give tobacco products or nicotine delivery products to any person under the age of 21.
The sale of tobacco products, liquid nicotine products and nicotine delivery products shall only be made to an individual who demonstrates through a government-issued photographic identification, containing the bearer's date of birth that no person purchasing the tobacco or nicotine containing products is younger than 21 years of age. No such verification is required for any person who reasonably appears to be over the age of 26. No clerk shall sell tobacco products or nicotine delivery products to a person under 21 years of age who has a note from an adult requesting such sale.
Retail establishments where tobacco products or nicotine delivery products are sold shall conspicuously post and reasonably maintain signs where these products are displayed and at all check-out counters notifying customers that proof of age is required to purchase tobacco products or nicotine delivery products. Such signs shall be imprinted the following statement:
Sale of cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, powdered tobacco, shisha or other tobacco products, herbal cigarettes, liquid nicotine, electronic cigarettes, rolling papers or smoking paraphernalia, to persons under 21 years of age is prohibited by law.
Such sign shall be printed on a white card in red capital letters at least 3/4 inch in height.
The Police Department of the Town of Mount Pleasant shall enforce the provisions of this chapter.
A violation of any provision of this chapter shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed $350 for a first offense, $700 for the second offense, and $1,000 for each subsequence offense or by imprisonment not to exceed six months, or both such fine and imprisonment.