Selling Cigarettes to Minors
The legal smoking age nationwide is 18 years old. Studies show that individuals who do not begin smoking as minors are less likely to smoke later in life. However, minors still have access to cigarettes when those over the age of 18 provide them.
It is illegal to buy cigarettes for minors. If you purchase cigarettes for someone under the age of 18, you can be fined or charged with the crime of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. It is also illegal to sell cigarettes and other tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18 in all fifty states.
Additionally, in certain states, purchasers must be at least 19 years old, in an attempt to prevent older high school students from buying cigarettes for younger friends. Tobacco sales vendors are required to check the I.D. of any purchasers who appear to be under the age of 18, and have the right to refuse service to anyone without a valid form of identification.
Sometimes, police send a minor into a store in an attempt to purchase cigarettes with no form of identification or with their own underage I.D. If the minor is able to purchase cigarettes, the store is penalized. The crime of selling cigarettes to minors is a misdemeanor, with penalties ranging from fines to three months in jail. Sometimes, a vendor’s license to sell cigarettes can be revoked.
If your license to sell cigarettes has been revoked or if you have been charged unfairly in selling or providing cigarettes to minors, you need a qualified criminal defense attorney to help you with your case. The Appleton criminal defense attorneys of Hart Powell, S.C. can evaluate your case and defend your rights in court. Contact our offices today at 414-271-9595 to schedule a free consultation.