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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

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. Penalty to sell. (a) Whoever sells tobacco to a person under the age of 18 years is guilty of a misdemeanor for the first violation. Whoever violates this subdivision a subsequent time within five years of a previous conviction under this subdivision 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. Other offenses. (a) Whoever furnishes tobacco or tobacco-related devices to a person under the age of 18 years is guilty of a misdemeanor for the first violation. Whoever violates this paragraph a subsequent time is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

(b) A person under the age of 18 years who purchases or attempts to purchase tobacco or tobacco-related devices and who uses a driver's license, permit, Minnesota identification card, or any type of false identification to misrepresent the person's age, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

Subd. 3. Petty misdemeanor. Except as otherwise provided in subdivision 2, 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.

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. Exceptions. (a) 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 paragraph, an Indian is a person who is a member of an Indian tribe as defined in section 260.755, subdivision 12.

(b) The penalties in this section do 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. 6. Seizure of false identification. A retailer may seize a form of identification listed in section 340A.503, subdivision 6, if the retailer has reasonable grounds to believe that the form of identification has been altered or falsified or is being used to violate any law. A retailer that seizes a form of identification as authorized under this subdivision shall deliver it to a law enforcement agency within 24 hours of seizing it.

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; 2000 c 472 s 5-9