Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 59.1. Trade and Commerce
Chapter 23.2. Retail Tobacco Products and Nicotine Vapor Products Containing Liquid Nicotine
7/23/2024

§ 59.1-293.12. Restrictions on the sale of retail tobacco products to minors; penalties.

A. A retail dealer shall comply with the provisions of this section, §§ 18.2-246.8, 18.2-246.10, 18.2-371.2, and 59.1-293.13, and any other state or local law related to the sale of retail tobacco products. If the Department determines that a retail dealer has violated any such provision of law, the Department may suspend or revoke such retail dealer's Retail Sales and Use Tax Exemption Certificate for Stamped Cigarettes Purchased for Resale or Other Tobacco Products (OTP) Distributor's License.

B. 1. For each retail dealer, the Department shall conduct an unannounced investigation at least once every 24 months to verify that the retail dealer is not selling retail tobacco products to persons under 21 years of age. If the Department determines that the retail dealer has violated any provision of this section, § 18.2-246.8, 18.2-246.10, 18.2-371.2, or 59.1-293.13, or any other state or local law related to the sale of retail tobacco products, it shall conduct an unannounced investigation of the retail dealer within six months of such violation.

2. If the Department determines that a retail dealer, or a retail dealer's agent or employee, sold a retail tobacco product to a person under 21 years of age or violated subsection A or B of § 18.2-371.2, the Department shall impose and the retail dealer shall be subject to:

a. For the first violation in a 36-month period, a penalty of no less than $1,000;

b. For a second violation in a 36-month period, a penalty of no less than $5,000. Any retail dealer found to be in violation of this subdivision 2 b shall be required to verify that any consumer who appears to be under 30 years of age is of legal age by verifying such consumer's government-issued photographic identification using fraud detection software, technology, or a scanner that confirms the authenticity of such identification; and

c. For a third violation in a 36-month period, a penalty of no less than $10,000 and a 30-day suspension of the retail dealer's Retail Sales and Use Tax Exemption Certificate for Stamped Cigarettes Purchased for Resale or OTP Distributor's License.

d. For a fourth violation in a 36-month period, revocation of the retail dealer's Retail Sales and Use Tax Exemption Certificate for Stamped Cigarettes Purchased for Resale or OTP Distributor's License, and ineligibility to possess any such certificate or license for a period of three years from the date of the most recent violation.

3. Any civil penalties assessed pursuant to this section shall be paid into the Tobacco Retail Enforcement Fund, established pursuant to § 59.1-293.14.

C. The Department shall collaborate with the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority and local law enforcement to the extent possible to enforce the provisions of this section and § 4.1-103.01.

2024, cc. 796, 821.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.