Bill Text: TX HB970 | 2015-2016 | 84th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to prohibiting the sale of nicotine products to minors; creating an offense.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2015-01-27 - Filed [HB970 Detail]

Download: Texas-2015-HB970-Introduced.html
  84R1434 SCL-D
 
  By: Paddie H.B. No. 970
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to prohibiting the sale of nicotine products to minors;
  creating an offense.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  The heading to Subchapter H, Chapter 161, Health
  and Safety Code, is amended to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER H.  DISTRIBUTION OF CIGARETTES, NICOTINE PRODUCTS, OR
  TOBACCO PRODUCTS
         SECTION 2.  Section 161.081, Health and Safety Code, is
  amended by adding Subdivision (1-a) and amending Subdivisions (3)
  and (4) to read as follows:
               (1-a)  "Nicotine product" means a product that delivers
  to an individual nicotine by inhalation and that is not a cigarette
  or tobacco product. The term includes:
                     (A)  an electronic cigarette or any other device
  that uses a mechanical heating element, battery, or electronic
  circuit to deliver nicotine to the individual inhaling from the
  device; or
                     (B)  any substance used to fill or refill an
  electronic cigarette or other device described by Paragraph (A).
               (3)  "Retail sale" means a transfer of possession from
  a retailer to a consumer in connection with a purchase, sale, or
  exchange for value of cigarettes, nicotine products, or tobacco
  products.
               (4)  "Retailer" means a person who engages in the
  practice of selling cigarettes, nicotine products, or tobacco
  products to consumers and includes the owner of a coin-operated
  cigarette, nicotine product, or tobacco product vending machine.
  The term includes a retailer as that term is defined [has the
  meaning assigned] by Section 154.001 or 155.001, Tax Code, as
  applicable.
         SECTION 3.  The heading to Section 161.082, Health and
  Safety Code, is amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 161.082.  SALE OF CIGARETTES, NICOTINE PRODUCTS, OR
  TOBACCO PRODUCTS TO PERSONS YOUNGER THAN 18 YEARS OF AGE
  PROHIBITED; PROOF OF AGE REQUIRED.
         SECTION 4.  Sections 161.082(a), (b), and (d), Health and
  Safety Code, are amended to read as follows:
         (a)  A person commits an offense if the person, with criminal
  negligence:
               (1)  sells, gives, or causes to be sold or given a
  cigarette, nicotine product, or tobacco product to someone who is
  younger than 18 years of age; or
               (2)  sells, gives, or causes to be sold or given a
  cigarette, nicotine product, or tobacco product to another person
  who intends to deliver it to someone who is younger than 18 years of
  age.
         (b)  If an offense under this section occurs in connection
  with a sale by an employee of the owner of a store in which
  cigarettes, nicotine products, or tobacco products are sold at
  retail, the employee is criminally responsible for the offense and
  is subject to prosecution.
         (d)  It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (a)(1)
  that the person to whom the cigarette, nicotine product, or tobacco
  product was sold or given presented to the defendant apparently
  valid proof of identification.
         SECTION 5.  Section 161.0825(e), Health and Safety Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (e)  It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under
  Section 161.082 that:
               (1)  a transaction scan device identified a license or
  certificate as valid and the defendant accessed the information and
  relied on the results in good faith; or
               (2)  if the defendant is the owner of a store in which
  cigarettes, nicotine products, or tobacco products are sold at
  retail, the offense under Section 161.082 occurs in connection with
  a sale by an employee of the owner, and the owner had provided the
  employee with:
                     (A)  a transaction scan device in working
  condition; and
                     (B)  adequate training in the use of the
  transaction scan device.
         SECTION 6.  The heading to Section 161.083, Health and
  Safety Code, is amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 161.083.  SALE OF CIGARETTES, NICOTINE PRODUCTS, OR
  TOBACCO PRODUCTS TO PERSONS YOUNGER THAN 27 YEARS OF AGE.
         SECTION 7.  Section 161.083, Health and Safety Code, is
  amended by adding Subsection (a-1) and amending Subsections (b) and
  (c) to read as follows:
         (a-1)  A person may not sell, give, or cause to be sold or
  given a nicotine product to someone who is younger than 27 years of
  age unless the person to whom the nicotine product was sold or given
  presents an apparently valid proof of identification.
         (b)  A retailer shall adequately supervise and train the
  retailer's agents and employees to prevent a violation of
  Subsections [Subsection] (a) and (a-1).
         (c)  A proof of identification described by Section
  161.082(e) satisfies the requirements of Subsections [Subsection]
  (a) and (a-1).
         SECTION 8.  Sections 161.084(a), (b), and (d), Health and
  Safety Code, are amended to read as follows:
         (a)  Each person who sells cigarettes, nicotine products, or
  tobacco products at retail or by vending machine shall post a sign
  in a location that is conspicuous to all employees and customers and
  that is close to the place at which the cigarettes, nicotine
  products, or tobacco products may be purchased.
         (b)  The sign must include the statement:
         PURCHASING OR ATTEMPTING TO PURCHASE NICOTINE PRODUCTS OR
  TOBACCO PRODUCTS BY A MINOR UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE IS PROHIBITED BY
  LAW.  SALE OR PROVISION OF NICOTINE PRODUCTS OR TOBACCO PRODUCTS TO
  A MINOR UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE IS PROHIBITED BY LAW.  UPON
  CONVICTION, A CLASS C MISDEMEANOR, INCLUDING A FINE OF UP TO $500,
  MAY BE IMPOSED.  VIOLATIONS MAY BE REPORTED TO THE TEXAS
  COMPTROLLER'S OFFICE BY CALLING (insert toll-free telephone
  number).  PREGNANT WOMEN SHOULD NOT SMOKE.  SMOKERS ARE MORE
  LIKELY TO HAVE BABIES WHO ARE BORN PREMATURE OR WITH LOW BIRTH
  WEIGHT.
         (d)  The comptroller on request shall provide the sign
  without charge to any person who sells cigarettes, nicotine
  products, or tobacco products. The comptroller may provide the
  sign without charge to distributors of cigarettes, nicotine
  products, or tobacco products or wholesale dealers of cigarettes,
  nicotine products, or tobacco products in this state for
  distribution to persons who sell cigarettes, nicotine products, or
  tobacco products. A distributor or wholesale dealer may not charge
  for distributing a sign under this subsection.
         SECTION 9.  Sections 161.085(a) and (b), Health and Safety
  Code, are amended to read as follows:
         (a)  Each retailer shall notify each individual employed by
  that retailer who is to be engaged in retail sales of cigarettes,
  nicotine products, or tobacco products that state law:
               (1)  prohibits the sale or distribution of cigarettes,
  nicotine products, or tobacco products to any person who is younger
  than 18 years of age as provided by Section 161.082 and that a
  violation of that section is a Class C misdemeanor; and
               (2)  requires each person who sells cigarettes,
  nicotine products, or tobacco products at retail or by vending
  machine to post a warning notice as provided by Section 161.084,
  requires each employee to ensure that the appropriate sign is
  always properly displayed while that employee is exercising the
  employee's duties, and provides that a violation of Section 161.084
  is a Class C misdemeanor.
         (b)  The notice required by Subsection (a) must be provided
  within 72 hours of the date an individual begins to engage in retail
  sales of nicotine or tobacco products. The individual shall
  signify that the individual has received the notice required by
  Subsection (a) by signing a form stating that the law has been fully
  explained, that the individual understands the law, and that the
  individual, as a condition of employment, agrees to comply with the
  law.
         SECTION 10.  Section 161.086(a), Health and Safety Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (a)  Except as provided by Subsection (b), a retailer or
  other person may not:
               (1)  offer cigarettes, nicotine products, or tobacco
  products for sale in a manner that permits a customer direct access
  to the cigarettes, nicotine products, or tobacco products; or
               (2)  install or maintain a vending machine containing
  cigarettes, nicotine products, or tobacco products.
         SECTION 11.  The heading to Section 161.087, Health and
  Safety Code, is amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 161.087.  DISTRIBUTION OF CIGARETTES, NICOTINE
  PRODUCTS, OR TOBACCO PRODUCTS.
         SECTION 12.  Sections 161.087(a) and (b), Health and Safety
  Code, are amended to read as follows:
         (a)  A person may not distribute to persons younger than 18
  years of age:
               (1)  a free sample of a cigarette, nicotine product, or
  tobacco product; or
               (2)  a coupon or other item that the recipient may use
  to receive a free or discounted cigarette, nicotine product, or
  tobacco product or a sample cigarette, nicotine product, or tobacco
  product.
         (b)  Except as provided by Subsection (c), a person,
  including a permit holder, may not accept or redeem, offer to accept
  or redeem, or hire a person to accept or redeem a coupon or other
  item that the recipient may use to receive a free or discounted
  cigarette, nicotine product, or tobacco product or a sample
  cigarette, nicotine product, or tobacco product if the recipient is
  younger than 18 years of age. A coupon or other item that such a
  recipient may use to receive a free or discounted cigarette,
  nicotine product, or tobacco product or a sample cigarette,
  nicotine product, or tobacco product may not be redeemable through
  mail or courier delivery.
         SECTION 13.  Sections 161.088(b) and (d), Health and Safety
  Code, are amended to read as follows:
         (b)  The comptroller may make block grants to counties and
  municipalities to be used by local law enforcement agencies to
  enforce this subchapter in a manner that can reasonably be expected
  to reduce the extent to which cigarettes, nicotine products, and
  tobacco products are sold or distributed to persons who are younger
  than 18 years of age. At least annually, random unannounced
  inspections shall be conducted at various locations where
  cigarettes, nicotine products, and tobacco products are sold or
  distributed to ensure compliance with this subchapter. The
  comptroller shall rely, to the fullest extent possible, on local
  law enforcement agencies to enforce this subchapter.
         (d)  The use of a person younger than 18 years of age to act
  as a minor decoy to test compliance with this subchapter shall be
  conducted in a fashion that promotes fairness. A person may be
  enlisted by the comptroller or a local law enforcement agency to act
  as a minor decoy only if the following requirements are met:
               (1)  written parental consent is obtained for the use
  of a person younger than 18 years of age to act as a minor decoy to
  test compliance with this subchapter;
               (2)  at the time of the inspection, the minor decoy is
  younger than 17 years of age;
               (3)  the minor decoy has an appearance that would cause
  a reasonably prudent seller of cigarettes, nicotine products, or
  tobacco products to request identification and proof of age;
               (4)  the minor decoy carries either the minor's own
  identification showing the minor's correct date of birth or carries
  no identification, and a minor decoy who carries identification
  presents it on request to any seller of cigarettes, nicotine
  products, or tobacco products; and
               (5)  the minor decoy answers truthfully any questions
  about the minor's age.
         SECTION 14.  Section 161.089, Health and Safety Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 161.089.  PREEMPTION OF LOCAL LAW. This subchapter
  does not preempt a local regulation of the sale, distribution, or
  use of cigarettes, nicotine products, or tobacco products or affect
  the authority of a political subdivision to adopt or enforce an
  ordinance or requirement relating to the sale, distribution, or use
  of cigarettes, nicotine products, or tobacco products if the
  regulation, ordinance, or requirement:
               (1)  is compatible with and equal to or more stringent
  than a requirement prescribed by this subchapter; or
               (2)  relates to an issue that is not specifically
  addressed by this subchapter or Chapter 154 or 155, Tax Code.
         SECTION 15.  (a) The change in law made by this Act applies
  only to the sale or distribution of nicotine products occurring on
  or after October 1, 2015. The sale or distribution of nicotine
  products occurring before October 1, 2015, is governed by the law in
  effect immediately before that date, and that law is continued in
  effect for that purpose.
         (b)  Section 161.082(a), Health and Safety Code, as amended
  by this Act, applies only to an offense committed on or after
  October 1, 2015. An offense committed before that date is governed
  by the law in effect on the date the offense was committed, and the
  former law is continued in effect for that purpose. For purposes of
  this subsection, an offense was committed before October 1, 2015,
  if any element of the offense occurred before that date.
         SECTION 16.  (a) The comptroller shall develop the sign
  described by Section 161.084, Health and Safety Code, as amended by
  this Act, and make the sign available to the public not later than
  September 15, 2015.
         (b)  This section takes effect September 1, 2015.
         SECTION 17.  Except as otherwise provided by this Act, this
  Act takes effect October 1, 2015.
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