Extensive medical and scientific evidence reveals and the Surgeon General of the United States has determined that the use of tobacco is harmful to a person's health such that it can lead to severe medical conditions. The American Cancer Society has cited that approximately ninety (90%) percent of today's regular smokers started before reaching adulthood. Statistics, such as this, have led the FDA to classify nicotine addiction as a pediatric disease.
Therefore, the Borough finds it necessary to limit the accessibility of cigarettes and other tobacco products to minors and to regulate the means by which tobacco products are sold in order to protect the health, safety and welfare of its residents.
As used in this Chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated.
- HEALTH OFFICER
- shall mean the administrative officer of the Borough Board of Health and/or his or her authorized representative and/or his or her contracted agent.
- LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- shall mean any member of the Point Pleasant Police Department.
- shall mean an individual, partnership, cooperative, association, corporation, personal representative, receiver, trustee, assignee, or any other legal entity.
- SELF-SERVICE DISPLAYS
- shall mean a display or display shelves designed for the customer to serve oneself without the aid of a sales clerk and where the customer is required to pay the cashier upon leaving.
- shall mean 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
- shall mean 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, and shall mean a person or entity that owns or operates a vending machine.
- VENDING MACHINE
- shall mean any automated, self-service devices which, upon insertion of money, tokens or any form of payments, dispenses cigarettes or other tobacco products.
Pursuant to the provision of N.J.S.A. 2A:170-51, it shall be unlawful for any person to sell, give, or permit to be sold, given or furnished an individual under the age of eighteen (18), tobacco in any form.
A sign, not less than six inches by eight inches (6" x 8"), shall be posted in a conspicuous place near each cash register in all retail establishments which sell tobacco products containing the following language:
SALE OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS TO MINORS UNDER THE AGE OF 18 IS PROHIBITED BY LAW. Legal proof of age must be shown. A person who sells or offers to sell a tobacco product to a person under eighteen (18) years of age may be prosecuted in accordance with State and local ordinances.
It shall be unlawful for a tobacco retailer to sell or permit to be sold, tobacco to any individual without requesting an examining identification from the purchaser, positively establishing purchaser's age as eighteen (18) years or greater, unless the seller has some other conclusive basis for determining the purchaser is over the age of eighteen (18) years of age.
Sale of tobacco products through vending machines shall be prohibited unless the following criteria have been met:
The vending machine shall be equipped with a remote controlled locking device which must be in full working order.
The remote controlled locking device shall be operated only by the tobacco retailer or his agent or employee, who must be eighteen (18) years of age or older.
At no time shall the locking device be unattended so as to permit accessibility by a customer or patron of the retail establishment.
After the operator of the remote controlled locking device has activated the vending machine to allow a sale to take place that vending machine will deactivate itself until such time as said remote controlled locking device has been reactivated.
Self-service displays of tobacco products, from which individual packages or individual cigarettes may be selected by the customer, are prohibited.
Any person, who directly or indirectly acting as agent or otherwise, sells, gives or furnishes to a minor under the age of eighteen (18) years, cigarettes made of tobacco or any other matter or substance which can be smoked, or any cigarette paper or tobacco in any form, including smokeless tobacco, shall be punished by a fine of two hundred fifty ($250.00) dollars in accordance with N.J.S.A. 2A:170-51.
Whenever the Health Officer, his or her designee, Code Enforcement Officer, or a law enforcement officer reasonably believes there exists a violation of this Chapter, such individual may, by written notification not later than sixty (60) days after discovery of the alleged violation, advise the tobacco retailer of the nature of the violation and that any subsequent failure or refusal to comply with this Chapter shall be subject to the penalties set forth in this Chapter.
Whenever the Health Officer, his or her designee, Code Enforcement Officer, or a law enforcement officer, after giving proper identification, may inspect any matter, thing, premises or place as may be necessary for the proper enforcement of provisions of this Chapter.
It shall be unlawful for any person to oppose or otherwise obstruct a Health Officer or his or her designee or the Code Enforcement Officer. Such individual may request the assistance of a law enforcement officer when necessary to execute his or her official duty in the manner prescribed by law.
Except as provided in paragraph a, above, any person violating or failing to comply with any of the provisions of this Chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be punishable by a fine of not more than one thousand ($1,000.00) dollars, by imprisonment for a term not to exceed ninety (90) days, or by community service of not more than ninety (90) days, or any combination of fine, imprisonment, and community service, as determined in the discretion of the Municipal Court Judge. The continuation of such violation for each successive day shall constitute a separate offense and the person or persons allowing or permitting the continuation of the violation may be punished as provided above, for each separate offense.
The violation of any provision of this Chapter shall be subject to abatement summarily by restraining order or injunction issued by a Court of competent jurisdiction.