Tobacco products retailers; registration, purchase, possession, and sale of products, penalties. (HB1283)

Introduced By

Del. Patrick Hope (D-Arlington)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Registration of tobacco products retailers; purchase, possession, and sale of tobacco products; penalties. The bill prohibits any person from selling any tobacco product at retail (i) without first obtaining a permit from the Department of Taxation and (ii) at a location within 1,000 feet of a youth-oriented facility, defined in the bill. The bill prohibits Internet sales of tobacco products, except to a permit-holding retailer, and prohibits the sale of tobacco products from vending machines. The bill imposes civil penalties of up to $1,500 for selling tobacco products without a permit and up to $2,000 for selling tobacco products to persons under age 21. Permits would be subject to annual renewal and subject to revocation for violations of federal, state, or local laws related to tobacco products. The bill imposes recordkeeping requirements and makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor to engage in fraud or misrepresentation in connection with an application for a permit. The bill updates, for the purpose of the crime of selling or distributing tobacco products to a person younger than 21 years of age, the definition of "tobacco products" by including in such definition products currently defined as "nicotine vapor products" or "alternative nicotine vapor products." The bill also removes provisions prohibiting the attempt to purchase, purchase, or possess tobacco products by persons younger than 21 years of age. The bill provides that the punishment of a retail establishment that sells, gives, or furnishes a tobacco product to a person younger than 21 years of age or to a person who does not demonstrate that such person is at least 21 years of age is a civil penalty of $500 for a first offense, a civil penalty of $1,000 for a second offense, and a civil penalty of $2,500 and a suspension or revocation of such establishment's distributor's license for a third or subsequent offense, regardless of the type of tobacco product. Under current law, such penalties apply only to the sale, distribution, or purchase of a bidi and do not require a suspension or revocation of the establishment's distributor's license, while violations involving all other products are punishable by a civil penalty of $100 for a first offense, a civil penalty of $200 for a second offense, and a civil penalty of $500 for a third or subsequent offense. The bill also removes the exception allowing the sale, giving, or furnishing of any tobacco product, nicotine vapor product, or alternative nicotine vapor product to active-duty military personnel who are 18 years of age or older. Finally, the bill requires agents of the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage and Control Authority to conduct a minimum number of two compliance checks each year on any retailer selling tobacco products and to use a person younger than 21 years of age to conduct such checks. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/08/2020Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/08/20 20105166D
01/08/2020Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/20/2020Assigned Courts sub: Criminal
01/22/2020Subcommittee recommends referring to Health, Welfare and Institutions by voice vote
01/22/2020Impact statement from TAX (HB1283)
01/22/2020Subcommittee recommends referring to Finance by voice vote
01/27/2020Referred from Courts of Justice
01/27/2020Referred to Committee on Finance
01/29/2020Assigned Finance sub: Subcommittee #3
01/30/2020Impact statement from TAX (HB1283)
01/31/2020Subcommittee recommends continuing to 2021
02/05/2020Committee substitute printed to LIS only 20107293D-H1
02/05/2020Continued to 2021 in Finance

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