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609.685 Sale of tobacco to children.

Subdivision 1. Definitions. For the purposes of this section, the following terms shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them in this section.

(a) "Tobacco" means cigarettes; cigars; cheroots; stogies; perique; granulated, plug cut, crimp cut, ready rubbed, and other smoking tobacco; snuff; snuff flour; cavendish; plug and twist tobacco; fine cut and other chewing tobaccos; shorts; refuse scraps, clippings, cuttings and sweepings of tobacco; and other kinds and forms of tobacco, prepared in such manner as to be suitable for chewing or smoking in a pipe or other tobacco-related devices.

(b) "Tobacco related devices" means cigarette papers or pipes for smoking.

Subd. 1a. Gross misdemeanor. (a) Whoever sells tobacco to a person under the age of 18 years is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

(b) It is an affirmative defense to a charge under this subdivision if the defendant proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant reasonably and in good faith relied on proof of age as described in section 340A.503, subdivision 6.

Subd. 2. Misdemeanor. Whoever furnishes tobacco or tobacco-related devices to a person under the age of 18 years is guilty of a misdemeanor.

Subd. 3. Petty misdemeanor. Whoever possesses, smokes, chews, or otherwise ingests, purchases, or attempts to purchase tobacco or tobacco related devices and is under the age of 18 years is guilty of a petty misdemeanor. This subdivision does not apply to a person under the age of 18 years who purchases or attempts to purchase tobacco or tobacco related devices while under the direct supervision of a responsible adult for training, education, research, or enforcement purposes.

Subd. 4. Effect on local ordinances. Nothing in subdivisions 1 to 3 shall supersede or preclude the continuation or adoption of any local ordinance which provides for more stringent regulation of the subject matter in subdivisions 1 to 3.

Subd. 5. Exception. Notwithstanding subdivision 2, an Indian may furnish tobacco to an Indian under the age of 18 years if the tobacco is furnished as part of a traditional Indian spiritual or cultural ceremony. For purposes of this subdivision, an Indian is a person who is a member of an Indian tribe as defined in section 260.755, subdivision 12.

HIST: 1963 c 753 art 1 s 609.685; 1981 c 218 s 1,2; 1986 c 352 s 4; 1989 c 290 art 3 s 33,34; 1992 c 588 s 1; 1993 c 224 art 9 s 44,45; 1994 c 636 art 2 s 44; 1999 c 139 art 4 s 2

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