S-1546.3          _______________________________________________


                            SUBSTITUTE SENATE BILL 5567



State of Washington              52nd Legislature             1991 Regular Session


By Senate Committee on Health & Long‑Term Care (originally sponsored by Senators West, Murray, Saling, L. Kreidler and Bailey; by request of Department of Health).


Read first time March 6, 1991.Making major changes to tobacco laws.

     AN ACT Relating to tobacco control; amending RCW 82.24.520 and 82.24.530; adding a new chapter to Title 70 RCW; adding a new section to chapter 43.20 RCW; prescribing penalties; providing an effective date; and declaring an emergency.




     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.  The legislature finds that the current system of health care and public health has been successful in identifying and reducing many communicable diseases that were major public health threats in years past but has not made efforts to reduce death and disability from preventable noncommunicable diseases.  The leading cause of preventable death in our state is tobacco use.  Washington business has provided leadership in the adult community by implementing smoke-free environments and cessation programs and Washington citizens eliminated tobacco use on public school property. However, the legislature recognizes the remaining high rate of tobacco-caused disease among ethnic minority populations, and smoking prevalence by youth and young pregnant women in our state.  It is imperative that prevention efforts be developed and implemented.

     The legislature acknowledges the United States surgeon general's findings that nicotine is the active drug in tobacco rendering it as addictive as heroin and cocaine.  The vast majority of new smokers are teenagers or younger children.  The earlier a child starts using tobacco the more likely that he or she will be unable to quit.  Washington state has no organized effort to discourage children from using tobacco.

     The legislature finds that access to tobacco by minors is a major problem.  Youth obtain tobacco products with ease.  Tobacco products that are provided free or at nominal charge are likely to fall into the hands of youth and the sale of single cigarettes are more affordable to youth.  The present system of prohibiting sales of tobacco to minors has proven significantly defective.  It is imperative to enforce the prohibition of sales to minors.

     The legislature finds that scientific evidence demonstrates that environmental tobacco smoke causes lung cancer and is a contributor to indoor air pollution, increasing the risk of disease and disability  among nonsmoking adults and children.

     The most effective strategy for reducing the impact of tobacco use is through the collaborative efforts of educators, business, local, state, and tribal government officials, local health and community agencies, ethnic minority groups, law enforcement, health care providers, and concerned community and citizen groups to promote healthy lifestyles and tobacco-free environments.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2.  The purpose of this chapter is to prevent tobacco-caused disease by reducing the use of and subsequent addiction to tobacco by youth and to promote tobacco reduction programs.  The legislature intends to support the development of community and state efforts to reduce the effects of tobacco use by:

     (1) Regulating the sale, distribution, and promotion of tobacco products to minors;

     (2) Conducting a state-wide advertising and public awareness campaign informing youth and their families about the negative health effects of using tobacco; and

     (3) Providing funding for prevention, education, cessation programs, and activities identified by communities that have brought together local leadership and interested citizens, to help reduce tobacco use and addiction.  The department shall provide assistance and support to help communities develop and carry out effective intervention strategies and implement tobacco control programs.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3.  The definitions set forth in this section apply throughout this chapter.

     (1) "Department" means the state department of health.

     (2) "Minor" means an individual who is less than eighteen years old.

     (3) "Package" means a pack, box, or container of any kind in which a tobacco product is offered for sale, sold, or otherwise distributed.

     (4) "Person" means an individual, partnership, corporation, or other business or legal entity and includes the state or any political subdivision of the state.

     (5) "Retailer" means a person, firm, association, company, partnership, or corporation who operates a store, stand, booth, concession, or other place at which sales are made to purchasers for consumption or use.

     (6) "Vending machine" means a machine or device designated for or used for the vending of cigarettes, cigars, tobacco, or tobacco products upon the insertion of coins, trade checks, or slugs.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 4.  The department of health shall collaborate with entities within state, local, tribal, and federal governments, and public and private agencies to use available information and resources to carry out the following:

     (1) Identify and monitor the leading causes of death and disease  caused by tobacco;

     (2) Identify trends, geographic areas, and population groups at risk for preventable tobacco-related disease;

     (3) Establish a culturally relevant broad public media and education campaign designed to prevent tobacco use among children, teenagers, pregnant women, and other high-risk groups;

     (4) Act as a clearinghouse for tobacco-related policy and information including referral services to cessation programs and information on effective prevention programs for health care providers, business and industry, schools, and the general public;

     (5) Evaluate, monitor, and report on the impact of tobacco use intervention efforts state-wide;

     (6) Request and receive funds, gifts, grants, or appropriations from the legislature, the federal government, or private sources to pursue the department's duties under this chapter.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 5.  The legislature finds that a practical method of responding to health problems, including direct access to target populations, is found at the community level.

     (1) The department shall, within available funds, provide grants to local communities to develop and implement coordinated tobacco intervention strategies to reduce the incidence and impact of tobacco use.  Geographic boundaries for local communities shall be the same as that of local public health departments.  In order to receive local community grants, communities must demonstrate a commitment to carrying out a coordinated intervention strategy plan and meet local matching requirements.  Intervention strategy plans must involve the active participation by leadership from local public health, education, health care providers, tribal government, law enforcement, business and industry, labor, and other concerned citizens and community groups.  In consultation with the state board of health, the department shall develop criteria by which funding allocations are determined for this section.

     (2) Grant applications shall be submitted on behalf of the community by the local health department.  If the local health department does not wish to participate in submission of a grant application the application may be submitted by a local organization.  If a grant application is not received from a local community, the department may work with the community to develop an intervention strategy plan.

     (3) Community intervention strategies shall be sensitive to cultural and ethnic differences and shall focus on at least the following:

     (a) Education to school-aged children and teenagers;

     (b) Strategies focused on high-risk populations;

     (c) Increased local availability of smoking and tobacco use cessation classes and programs;

     (d) Distribution of cessation messages and prevention materials to high-risk groups, using local versions of the state-wide media and marketing campaign; and

     (e) Creation of local coalitions to encourage changes in community attitudes about tobacco use.

     (4) The department shall ensure that contracts for local grants maximize expenditures on developing and implementing tobacco intervention strategies.  Grants shall not exceed ninety-five percent of the local tobacco intervention budgets, and the department shall make available to local intervention programs at least twenty-five percent of the total revenues authorized under this chapter.  Funds designated for local intervention programs that remain unexpended may be expended on other authorized tobacco intervention strategies.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 6.  Effective July 1, 1991, no tobacco product may be sold or offered for sale from a vending machine unless the machine is located:

     (1) In a portion of a commercial building or industrial plant where the public is expressly prohibited and where no minor employees are usually admitted; or

     (2) On any premises or portion thereof to which access by minors is expressly prohibited by law if, and only if, the tobacco vending machine is located fully within such premises from which minors are prohibited and not less than ten feet from all entrance or exit ways.

     If an appropriate enforcing agency has reason to believe that a violation of this chapter has occurred, the enforcing agency shall issue an order of noncompliance to the alleged violator, informing the alleged violator that a civil action shall begin in one week if the tobacco vending machine is not removed.  If after one week the tobacco vending machine has not been removed, the enforcing agency shall initiate a civil action in superior court to enforce the provisions of this chapter.  If the court finds that one or more violations have occurred, the court shall award the prevailing party its costs, including reasonable attorneys' fees.  The court may also enjoin future violations and impose a civil penalty of up to one thousand dollars per violation.  For purposes of this section enforcing agencies shall include state and local health departments, local fire departments or fire districts and local law enforcement.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 7.  A retailer who sells cigarettes not in the original sealed unopened package upon which revenue stamps are required to be placed under RCW 82.24.030 is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 8.  A person who gives or provides by a coupon, tobacco products to a person at no cost or at a nominal cost is guilty of a gross misdemeanor, except that a retailer whose annual gross sales from the sale of tobacco products exceeds sixty percent of annual gross sales may distribute single serving samples of tobacco to adults without violating this section.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 9.  A retailer or employee who sells or permits to be sold cigarettes or other tobacco products to an individual without requesting and examining identification from the purchaser positively establishing the purchaser's age as eighteen years or greater, unless the seller has some other conclusive basis for determining the buyer is over the age of eighteen years, is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

     For purposes of this section, the purchaser shall be required to present one of the following officially issued cards of identification which shows his or her correct age and bears his or her signature and photograph:

     (1) Liquor control authority card of identification of a state or a province of Canada;

     (2) Driver's license, instruction permit, or identification of a state or a province of Canada, or "identicard" issued by the Washington state department of licensing under chapter 46.20 RCW;

     (3) United States active duty military identification;

     (4) Passport; or

     (5) Merchant marine identification card issued by the United States coast guard.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 10.       No retailer may sell or permit to be sold, cigarettes or other tobacco products, unless the vending machine or other location at which the cigarettes or other tobacco products are available for purchase is posted with a notice that is clearly visible to anyone purchasing the products, and that states:


The notice must be black letters at least one inch in height on a white background.  The notice will be made available through the state department of licensing at the time of issuing the state license.  A retailer failing to post the notice is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 11.       A person or entity including agencies or political subdivisions of the state may initiate civil action in superior court to enforce RCW 26.28.080(4) or the provisions of this chapter except as provided in section 6 of this act.  Venue for such action is in the county where the violation is alleged to have taken place.  If the court finds that one or more violations have occurred, the court shall award the prevailing party its costs, including reasonable attorneys' fees.  The court may also enjoin future violations, and, in addition to any other sanction allowed by law, impose a civil penalty of up to one thousand dollars for each violation.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 12.       The provisions of this chapter shall not preempt any ordinance or rule adopted by any political subdivisions of the state to enact rules governing the retail sale or use of tobacco products, provided that such ordinances or rules are at least as restrictive as those of applicable state law.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 13.  A new section is added to chapter 43.20 RCW to read as follows:

     The state board of health may adopt such additional rules as are not inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter to control the retail sale of tobacco products so as to limit the purchase and use of tobacco by minors.


     Sec. 14.  RCW 82.24.520 and 1986 c 321 s 6 are each amended to read as follows:

     A fee of ((six hundred fifty)) one thousand dollars shall accompany each wholesaler's license application or license renewal application.  If a wholesaler sells or intends to sell cigarettes at two or more places of business, whether established or temporary, a separate license with a license fee of ((one hundred fifteen)) three hundred dollars shall be required for each additional place of business.  Each license, or certificate thereof, and such other evidence of license as the department of revenue requires, shall be exhibited in the place of business for which it is issued and in such manner as is prescribed for the display of a master license.  The department of revenue shall require each licensed wholesaler to file with the department a bond in an amount not less than one thousand dollars to guarantee the proper performance of the duties and the discharge of the liabilities under this chapter.  The bond shall be executed by such licensed wholesaler as principal, and by a corporation approved by the department of revenue and authorized to engage in business as a surety company in this state, as surety.  The bond shall run concurrently with the wholesaler's license.


     Sec. 15.  RCW 82.24.530 and 1986 c 321 s 7 are each amended to read as follows:

     A fee of ((ten)) seventy-five dollars shall accompany each retailer's license application or license renewal application.  A fee of ((one additional dollar)) twenty-five dollars for each vending machine shall accompany each application or renewal for a license issued to a retail dealer operating a cigarette vending machine.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 16.       Sections 1 through 12 of this act shall constitute a new chapter in Title 70 RCW.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 17.       This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and shall take effect July 1, 1991.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 18.       If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected.