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Council Period 12
Council Period 13
|Chairman Linda a W. Cropp
Councilmember Phil Mendelson
A BILL IN THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Chairman Linda W. Cropp and Councilmember Phil Mendelson introduced the following bill,
which was referred to the Committee on Committee on Consumer and Regulatory Affairs with
comments from the Committees on the Judiciary and Human Services
To amend An Act to prohibit the sale of tobacco to minors under sixteen years of age in
the District to increase the fines for sale of tobacco to minors for the first and
subsequent offenses, to prohibit self-service displays and certain advertisements that
encourage the illegal sale of tobacco products to minors and establish fines for first and
subsequent offenses, to provide for a private right of action to enforce the provisions of
this act, and to authorize the Department of Health to conduct random inspections of
retail establishments that sell tobacco products; and to amend Title 47 of the District of
Columbia Code to prohibit tobacco sales by vending machine and establish fines for the
first and subsequent offenses.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, That this act may be cited as
the "Enforcement of the Prohibition of Tobacco Product Sales to Minors Act of
Sec. 2. Chapter 1 17 of An Act to prohibit the sale of tobacco to
minors under sixteen years of age in the District, approved February 7, 1891 (26 Stat.
736; D.C. Code §22-1120), is amended as follows:
(a) Subsection (c) is amended to read as follows:
"(c) Any person who violates subsection (a) or (b) of this section is guilty of a
misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined for the first offense not less than $500
and not more than $750, or imprisoned not more than 30 days, or both. Any person convicted
of a subsequent violation of subsection (a) or (b) of this section shall be fined not less
than $750 and not more than $1,500, or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.".
(b) A new subsection (f) is added to read as follows:
"(f)(1) For the purposes of this subsection, the terms:
"(A) "Free-standing or self-service display" means a display within a
retail establishment's control that allows the customer to select individual containers,
packages, or cartons of any tobacco product.
"(B) "Person" means any natural person, partnership, co-partnership,
firm, company, corporation, limited liability corporation, agency, association, joint
stock association, or other legal entity.
"(C) "Playground" means any outdoor premises or grounds owned or
lawfully operated by or on behalf of, the Board of Education, the Department of
Recreation, a youth center, or any public, private, or parochial school which contains any
device, structure, or implement, fixed or portable, used or intended for use by persons
under the age of 18 years for recreational or athletic purposes including, but not limited
to, play equipment such as a sliding board, swing, jungle gym, sandbox, climbing bar,
wading pool, obstacle course, see-saw, baseball diamond, athletic field, or basketball
"(D) "Publicly visible location" means any location inside a commercial
establishment immediately adjacent to a window or door where such location is visible from
any street, sidewalk, or public thoroughfare.
"(E) "School" means any building or property, or any portion thereof,
owned, occupied by, or under the custody or control of any public, private, or parochial
institution and lawfully used for the primary purpose of providing educational instruction
to students at or below the twelfth grade level.
"(F) "Tobacco product" means tobacco in any of its forms, including, but
not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, loose tobacco leaf, snuff, or smokeless or spit
"(G) "Tobacco product advertisement" means any written word, picture,
logo, symbol, motto, selling message, poster, placard, sign, photograph, device, graphic
display, or visual image of any kind, recognizable color or pattern of colors, or any
indica of product identification identical or similar to, or identifiable with, those used
for any brand of tobacco product, or any combination thereof, the purpose or effect of
which is to promote the use or sale of a tobacco product, a trademark of a tobacco
product, or a trade name associated exclusively with a tobacco product.
"(H) "Youth center" means any building or structure, or portion thereof,
lawfully occupied by any person for the primary purpose of operating a trade school,
including those conducting after-school vocational, remedial, tutorial, educational
assistance programs, or an indoor recreation center, including recreational, cultural,
physical fitness, or sports programs, for persons under the age of 18 years, and which has
been certified as such by the Department of Recreation.
"(2) Free-standing or self service displays of tobacco products are prohibited.
All tobacco products shall remain behind the counter, not accessible to the public, and
shall be selected by a clerk or employee of the retail establishment. This section shall
not apply to a tobacco shop or store that primarily concerns itself with selling tobacco
and smoking equipment.
"(3) The following outdoor advertising is prohibited:
"(A) It shall be unlawful for any person to place, cause to be place, maintain, or
cause to be maintained, a tobacco product advertisement at any location within 1,000 feet
of a school, playground, youth center, Boys or Girls Club, YMCA or YWCA, or public
swimming pool, in any outdoor area including, but not limited to, billboards, roofs,
sides, windows, and doors of buildings, rolling shutters or gates, water tanks and towers,
or free-standing signboards.
"(B) It shall be unlawful for any person to place, cause to be placed, maintain,
or cause to be maintained, a tobacco product advertisement in the interior of a building
or structure which is within 1,000 feet of a school, playground, youth center, Boys or
Girls Club, YMCA or YWCA, or public swimming pool, which is outward facing and is situated
in a publicly visible location from the exterior of the building or structure.
"(C) Tobacco product advertisements on Metrorail trains, bus shelters and in rail
stations within the District of Columbia are prohibited after June 30, 1999.
"(D) Tobacco product advertisements on Metrobuses are prohibited.
"(E) Tobacco product advertisements on the outside or inside of city-owned or
operated buildings are prohibited.
"(4)(A) Any person who violates, disobeys, omits, neglects, refuses to comply
with, or resists the enforcement of any provision of this subsection shall be guilty of a
misdemeanor and, upon conviction in any court of competent jurisdiction, shall be subject
to a fine as set forth in paragraph (4)(B) of this subsection.
"(B) Judgments for a first offense of the provisions of this subsection shall be
not less than $500 plus court costs and not more than $750 plus court costs; judgments for
subsequent offenses shall be not less than $750 plus court costs and not more than $3,000
plus court costs. Each individual advertisement found to be in violation of this section
shall constitute a separate offense.
"(5)(A) For the purpose of this paragraph, an "enforcement action" has
occurred if one of the following has taken place:
(1) A violator of section 2(b) or section 3 of this act has removed the tobacco product
advertisement or vending machine;
(2) The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs ("Department") has
assessed a penalty pursuant to section 2(b) or section 3 of this act; or
(3) The Department has determined in a publicly available written notice with
justification that there has been no violation of section 2(b) or section 3 of this act.
"(B) Section 2(b) or section 3 of this act may be enforced by a private plaintiff
who seeks injunctive relief in Superior Court, provided that the conditions under
paragraph (5)(C) of this subsection have been met.
"(C) From the date the Department has been notified or is otherwise made aware of
a potential violation of this act, the Department has 60 days to institute an enforcement
action, as defined in paragraph (5)(A) of this subsection, before a private right of
action shall be permitted. If the Department institutes an enforcement action within this
60-day period, no private right of action shall be permitted against the alleged violator
for the potential violation in question."
(c) A new subsection (g) is added to read as follows:
"(g) The Department of Health through the Addiction, Prevention and Recovery
Administration ("APRA") shall conduct a semiannual inspection and random,
unannounced inspections of retail establishments that sell tobacco products to monitor
compliance with this act. It shall not be a violation of this act for APRA to use
individuals under 18 years of age or younger. A determination of noncompliance shall be
provided to the appropriate agency for enforcement within 60 days of the
Sec. 3. D.C. Code §47-2404 is amended as follows:
(a) Subsection (a) is amended by striking the phrase "display for sale in vending
(b) Subsection (b)( 1 ) is amended by striking the phrase "or vending machine
(c) Subsection (b)(2) is amended by adding the phrase ", or to sell cigarettes
outside of their original package or individually" after the word "resale".
(d) Subsection (b)(3) is amended to read as follows:
"(3) Vending machine operator's licenses prohibited.
"(A) No license shall be issued for the sale of any tobacco product from or by
means of a vending machine.
"(B) Judgment for the first offense of the provisions of subsection (b) shall be
not less than $500 plus court costs and not more than $750 plus court costs; judgments for
subsequent offenses shall be not less than $1,500 plus court costs and not more than
$5,000 plus court costs.".
Sec. 4. The Council adopts the fiscal impact statement in the
committee report as the fiscal impact statement required by section 602(c)(3) of the
District of Columbia Home Rule Act, approved December 24, 1973 (87 Stat. 813; D.C. Code
Sec. 5. This act shall take effect following approval of the Mayor (or
in the event of veto by the Mayor, action by the Council of the district of Columbia to
override the veto), approval by the Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance
Authority as provided in section 203(a) of the District of Columbia Financial
Responsibility and Management Assistance Act of 1995, approved April 17, 1995 (109 Stat.
116; D.C. Code §47-392.3(a)), a 30-day Congressional review as provided in section
602(c)(1) of the of the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, approved December 24, 1973 (87
Stat. 813; D.C. Code §1-233(c)(1)), and publication in the District of Columbia Register.